Tomatoes are the top ingredient that chefs say they cannot live without

Leading Italian tomato brand, Mutti, has launched its 2023 edition of the Golden Tomato Cook Competition. This extraordinary annual culinary event is aimed at celebrating the tomato and the exceptional quality and taste of its Italian tomato products.

To kick off the search for the UK’s best tomato cook, Mutti has revealed the fascinating results from its chef survey, shedding light on their perceptions, and preferences when it comes to tomato-based ingredients. The eye-opening facts not only challenge common beliefs about tomatoes but also highlight the importance of quality, taste, and sustainable practices in the culinary world.

The survey uncovered the essential ingredients that chefs simply cannot live without, and not surprisingly, tomatoes and/or tomato products secured the top spot at 44%. This reaffirms the integral role that tomatoes play in elevating dishes to new heights. Salt and/or Pepper, and Olive Oil came second and third respectively.

Surprisingly, 55% of chefs confessed to mislabelling tomatoes as vegetables, when in fact, they are fruits. This stunning admission shows that even amongst chefs there is still much to learn and love about tomatoes.

The survey further showcased that while 44% of chefs acknowledged the centuries-old, over 500 years in fact, heritage of Italian tomatoes, only half of them were aware that the famous San Marzano tomatoes exclusively hail from the Campania region, adding a delightful layer of historical context to the chef staple.

Additionally, 51% of chefs correctly recognized the presence of lycopene in tomatoes, known for its considerable health benefits; a powerful antioxidant that can help protect cells from damage. This highlights the importance of not only taste but also the nutritional value of ingredients in modern culinary creations.

When it comes to tomato-based ingredients, the top three factors that matter the most to chefs are quality (42%), product size (36%), and flavor and/or great taste (35%).

Another fascinating insight revealed the top countries perceived by chefs to produce the best quality tomatoes include Italy, India, and the USA.

The survey also delved into the ethical considerations of chefs when selecting ingredients. Over half of the chefs surveyed (51%) stressed the importance of responsibly and fairly sourced ingredients, with 57% emphasizing the need for ingredients from reputable and known brands.

Furthermore, 55% of chefs agreed that ingredients must be of the best quality, something which Mutti has been uncompromising on for more than 120 years. The fact that 54% of chefs emphasized the significance of great taste and/or flavor reaffirms one of the central focuses of the Golden Tomato Cook Competition.