Crazy for Heirloom Tomatoes!

By Erika on June 6th, 2012 / Erika, In the Garden, Uncategorized / 3 Comments

Oh, how I love heirloom tomatoes! From tangy and mild to ultra-sweet, they are all a treat. Eat them by themselves, with a dash of salt or in your favorite recipe, like this delicious burrata and heirloom tomato dish that is gone off the plate almost in an instant every time I serve it!

 

Heirloom tomatoes come in different shapes and sizes, and it’s the most funny-looking ones that taste the best sometimes- with big cracks and strange shapes.  There are so many different varieties of heirlooms, from the most common Brandywine  (an Amish variety dating back to the 1800’s), Caspian Pink,  Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Arkansas Marvel, Pruden’s Purple, Early Girl,  Golden Nugget, German Pink and Cherokee Purple are among the many varieties out there. Gold Medal, Caspian Pink and Hillbilly tomatoes are all ultra-sweet and among the sweetest heirlooms.

 

Each tomato has a history of its own, and that’s one of the things that makes them so interesting. Heirloom varieties are so different because they’re grown from seeds passed down through generations (some people don’t consider a variety an heirloom unless it is over 100 years old, some say 50 years). Heirlooms came from a time when tomatoes were  eaten right off the vine in late summer, depending on where you live. You can now find greenhouse heirlooms in the stores in winter, but heirlooms are best when grown locally and picked when perfectly ripe! The flavor is so intense, all you have to do is slice them up and serve them! Some people put a little salt on them to bring out even more flavor…

 

When choosing an heirloom, their color will to tell you their flavor:  yellow and orange tomatoes are the sweetest with the lowest amount of acid, green and white tomatoes are more tart because of their high acid and dark red and black tomatoes usually have a good balance between sweet and tart.

If you are eating tomatoes right away, look for tomatoes that are slightly firm, that have bright shiny skin with deep, full color that feel heavy and juicy for their size. If buying a day or two early, choose a tomato with a little less color, which will ripen in the next couple of days.

Enjoy!

 

show comments 3 responses

  • Ashley says:

    I did not know a lot of this about heirloom tomatoes, they always make me a little nervous-

  • Aubrey Manning says:

    This makes me want to go to a farmer’s market, I have to wait until Sunday

  • Wendy Irene says:

    I love to eat a tomato with a little bit of salt most mornings with my breakfast. I typically just pick up red tomatoes but seeing all the beautiful colors on this post makes me want to try some more variety. I hope you have a great day!

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