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Heirloom Tomatoes

A TODAYS SEGMENT IS ABOUT HEIRLOOM TOMATOES AND I AM AT FARMS VIEW FARM IN WAYNE NEW JERSEY WHERE THEY GROW BEAUTIFUL HEIRLOOM TOMATOES.

I HATE TO BE THE ONE TO TELL YOU THIS , BUT IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD AN HEIRLOOM TOMATO THEN YOU HAVE NEVER TASTED A REAL TOMATO. WITH TOMATO SEASON JUST UPON US, AND DREAMS OF YELLOW, RED, PINK, AND PURPLE SLICES ON OUR PLATES, WE BEGIN TO WONDER WHAT MAKES THE HEIRLOOM TOMATO SO MUCH BETTER THEN THE CONVENTIONAL ONES WE BUY IN THE GROCERY STORE. WE KNOW THEY DON'T LOOK THE SAME, WE KNOW THEY COST MORE, BUT WHY?: WELL THE HEIRLOOM OR OLD TOMATOES TASTE LIKE A REAL TOMATO.

WHAT WE GROW TODAY I WOULD HARDLY CLASSIFY AS A REAL TOMATO, WE HAD IT RIGHT 100 YEARS AGO. ONE THING FOR SURE YOU GET A SUBTLE DIFFERENCE IN HEIRLOOMS, THE YELLOW HEIRLOOM HAVE A MILDER TASTE AND THE RED ONES HAVE A LOT MORE ACIDIC TASTE. WITH TODAYS TOMATOES FOR THE MOST PART, ALL THE FLAVOR AND TASTE AND EVERYTHING ELSE HAS BEEN BRED OUT OF THEM. I REMEMBER YEARS AGO A LADY VISITING MY STORE AND ASKING ME " HOW CAN I GET A GOOD TASTING TOMATO IN JANUARY" WHICH I REPLIED, BUY A CAN OF ROMA TOMATOES,DUMP IT ON YOUR SALAD AND PUT ON THE DRESSING, I WAS ONLY KIDDING BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT IT WOULD STILL TASTE BETTER THEN ANYTHING SHE WOULD FIND IN THE STORE.

HEIRLOOM TOMATOES ARE GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO BE A VARIETY THAT HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THROUGH SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF A FAMILY. SINCE HEIRLOOMS HAVE BECOME POPULAR IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN LIBERTIES TAKEN WITH THE USE OF THIS TERM FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. HEIRLOOMS ARE WHAT WE CALL OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETIES INTRODUCED BEFORE 1940, OR TOMATO VARIETIES MORE THAN 50 YEARS IN CIRCULATION. IN THE PAST 40 YEARS WE'VE LOST MANY OF OUR HEIRLOOM VARITIES ALONG WITH MANY OF OUR SMALLER FAMILY FARMS. THE MAIN REASON TO CHOOSE HEIRLOOMS IS THE FLAVOR, THERE IS NO ONE TASTE BUT YOU WILL FIND A WIDE RANGE OF FLAVORS IN THE HEIRLOOM TOMATO WORLD. WITH 1000'S OF VARITIES OF SEEDS STILL AVALIBLE, THE MOST POPULAR VARITIES THAT YOU SEE AROUND ARE BRANDYWINE, THE MOST FAMOUS AND WHAT MOST EXPERTS SAY IS THE BEST TASTING. IT IS A LARGE RED -PURPLISH COLOR THAT CAN GROW TO 2 LBS. GOLD RUSH ANOTHER POPULAR TOMATO, WITH A WIDE RANGE OF SHAPES, COLOR AND SIZE, WITH A LITTLE SWEETER TASTE THEN THE RED VARIETY.ONE OF MY FAVORITES THE GREEN ZEBRA, A GOLDEN COLOR WITH GREEN STRIPES, GOLF BALL SIZE WITH A GREAT FLAVOR. YOU WANT TO TREAT HEIRLOOMS THE SAME WAY YOU TREAT MOST TOMATOES, NUMBER 1 RULE NEVER REFRIGERATE, REFRIGERTION KILLS THE FLAVOR, THE NUTRIENTS AND TEXTURE OF THE TOMATO. NEVER RIPEN ON THE WINDOW SILL, JUST PUT ON THE COUNTER STEM END UP AND ALLOW TO RIPEN, BUT WITH HEIRLOOMS MOST OF THE TIME, THEY ARE RIPE WHEN YOU BUT THEM. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST USE YOUR TOMATOES RIGHT AWAY, TOMATOES ARE MENT TO BE EATEN NOT STORED. HEIRLOOM TOMATOES WILL NOT LOOK LIKE YOUR REGULAR PLASTIC TASTING TOMATOES, THEY WILL BE ALITTLE SOFTER, AND NOT PERFECT LOOKING BUT ONCE YOU GET THEM HOME AND MAKE THAT TOMATO SANDWICH OR SLICE THEM UP WITH ALITTLE MOZZERELLA, THE LOOKS AND SOFTNESS WILL GO OUT OF YOUR MIND ONCE THAT TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH SAYS THIS IS GREAT. SO HAVE A GREAT SUMMER, FIND A FARM STAND NEAR YOU AND ENJOY THIS TASTE OF SUMMER, BECAUSE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT THE SEASON IS OVER AND YOU ARE BACK TO EATING THOSE TOMATOES THAT TASTE LIKE PLASTIC OR THE BAG YOU BROUGHT THEM HOME IN.

ENJOY THESE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, BECAUSE LIKE I ALWAYS SAY " IF YOU EAT RIGHT YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE RIGHT "

Recipes

Baked Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

Fresh Plum Tomato Sauce

Jersey Tomato Salad Italiano

Pop's Tomato Sandwich

Other recipes from Produce Pete.

   

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