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New Tomatoes from the Negev

The farmers at Ein Yahav have recently started to market a new type of tomatoes which are especially sweet and popularly known as “Jahnun Tomatoes”, because after grating they yield sweet and aromatic Jahnun paste (Jahnun is a Yemenite Jewish pastry).

Rami Sadeh, an agronomist from Ein Yahav, explained that these tomatoes owe their sweetness to a combination of two factors; namely, cultivated tomato varieties irrigated with the saline water found in the Arava region and whose taste is reminiscent of days gone by. This combination yields an enhanced flavor and a high concentration of aromatic elements. The salinity to which the growing seedling is exposed causes it to produce tomatoes with an inherent greater proportion of sugars together with some tartness that balances the vegetable’s flavor.

This novel taste is recognized by the green gel enveloping the tomato seeds that indicate the quality of those substances, which lend the fruit its marvelous sweet and sour taste.  Grating the tomatoes to make Jahnun causes the sugars retained within the fruit’s tissues to surge forth. However, these tomatoes are also suitable as a sweetener in salads without the addition of sugar, as well as in sandwiches as a means of convincing children to eat vegetables rather than fast food and unhealthy snacks.


The sweet tomatoes have a long shelf life, thereby enabling the consumers to enjoy eating them for a relatively long period of time. The tomatoes may be purchased at grocers or at Ein Yahav’s direct outlets “Cost 365” or at a branch of “Marketing Stores” (Mahsanei Shivuk) at the Moshav’s entrance.

Source: Zman Yerushalaim, published on December 5, 2014.

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