The symbol of gardens in Valle del Guadalhorce
Tomatoes of the oxheart variety is one of the most quality product in the province of Málaga. They are widely grown in Valle del Guadalhorce, specially in the village of Coín, known for the fertility of its lands. This variety, that has a quality stamp that makes it different from other tomatoes, has very peculiar charasteristics. As its name may suggest, its shape is bigger. In fact, it weights between 300 and 600 grammes, although it can even weight a kilo.
It is a variety with few seeds and a very juice heart. In fact, people value it due to its creamy and soft texture. The perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness is one of its most important charasteristics. Oxheart tomatoes are collected in Coín takes place first thing in the morning, since the warm weather could damage the tomatoes. In order to ensure the best organoleptic characteristics, they have to be grown until their think skin turns green and red. They can last for a few days until they go bad. However, they have to be distributed locally due to their fragility. This variety is very rich n water content, so it is perfect to eat them raw, in a salad with a pinch of salt and a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil.
It can also be used to make gazpachos or other cold soups and even ‘carpaccis’. The high quality of this tomato is very related to the growing process that the farmers of Valle del Guadalhorce follow and also to the richness of the land, specially in Coín, where the land is watered from the neighbouring mountain range springs. The weather of this region allows us to have a high quality crop in summer. The singularity of this tomato has been recently claimed in events dedicated to this variety, such as gastronomic tours or auctions where a quality box of tomatoes is sold to the best bidding and the money collected will be donated to charities.
Although the oxheart tomato variety is not only grown in Valle del Guadalhorce, this region grows the most quality tomatoes and the biggest production. They are specially grown in the lands of Coín, that even today are watered with spring water. In fact, thr Rural Development Group from Valle del Guadalhorce created in 2015 the origin signature to distinguish this tomato. The next step will be to have the Protected designation of origin.
Oxheart tomatoes have some similarities with the beefsteak tomatoes, although farmers from Valle del Guadalhorce claim that the oxheart tomatoes that they have been growing for decades have different charasteristics. It is a very fragile tomato that almost disappeared. However, many families in the region continued to grow them for personal consumption due to their flavour and texture. This has made possible for this variety to survive and to have its origin signature.
This tomato variety has a lot of qualities that make it very benefitial. For example, among other properties, it has a high content of vitamin C (19 miligrammes per each 100 grams), which is benefitial for many diseases and it helps prevent many illnesses. It also contain many antioxidant elemts that help avoid cell aging. It is rich in lycopene (3,2 miligrammes per each 100 grammes) so it is great for fighting heart diseases and prevent cancer.
The tomato plant of this variety grows three flowers but not many survive. From a production point of view, a disadvantage is that it needs four months to get the first fruits, while other varieties take barely 45 days. Another signature characteristic is that this plant can be two metre long and it is guided with wood sticks. However, tomatoes normally grow just at the bottom.