A case of 25 kilos (50+ lbs). So this times three!

Shawn is one of those people who has a guy for everything. You need something? Shawn’s got a guy who can make/find/buy/sell that for you. So it was no surprise when a conversation started the other night with him saying, “You know my honey guy? He’s got tomatoes now…”

Those crazy tomato ladies

One week later, we were elbows deep in 150lbs of tomatoes. And by that evening, they had been rinsed, scored, blanched, peeled, cored and package away for winter later. With my 25 quarts of frozen tomatoes, I’m good for a while, thank-you-very-much!

Ready to be packaged!

Here’s what I learned:

  • We usually pay 600cfa/kilo of fresh tomatoes, about 60 cents/lb. In high season though (like now) you can get them in bulk for about 300cfa/kilo, or even less.
  • High season is late January to late March. If you buy later, it may be cheaper but you risk more bruised or damaged fruit.
  • Yes, tomato is a fruit.
  • 1 kilo of fresh tomatoes = 1 quart
  • Canning used to be popular among the expat crowd. Now, most prefer to package the tomatoes in Ziplocs and freeze them.
  • Canners say you can re-use Bama mayonnaise jars (available all over Dakar, even in buutiks) once. Of course, US safety standards would be horrified by this. But you’re a grown up. Make your own informed decision.
Shawn, the tomato processing expert

So, food people… What should we try next? I’m guessing that since the guys butchered a cow and then we did tomatoes, the next logical step would be homemade pasta. But I’m open to anything. Plus, Shawn’s probably got a guy who can hook us up…

Jenn making tomato sauce