A Crash Course on Tomatoes


I really enjoy just about every vegetable, but if I do play favorites, it's with tomatoes. The tomato crop is just beginning to ripen and I would like to go over some info that will make your tomato eating experience even more pleasurable.

When you get your tomatoes, do not under any circumstances, put them in the refrigerator. If you've always stored them in the fridge and never noticed a problem, it's probably because if they came from a store and they tasted like cardboard, so it didn't matter what you do with them, for the taste didn't change. The taste from fresh tomatoes from the field suffers greatly under refrigeration. You may find their texture gets a little mealy as well.

The best course of action is to let them sit at room temperature, bottom side up, until you're ready to eat them. There is science for this reasoning, but that's not the purpose for the blogpost.

If I give you tomatoes that you need to ripen quickly, store them at room temperature in a paper, not plastic, bag.

As the season progresses, you will be tasting a number of different tomato varieties. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but I painstakingly chose these varieties for specific reasons.

Here is a list of this year's tomatoes along with a couple of notes:

New Girl: Hybrid, smaller tomatoes, earliest variety. Good taste, but not the best, but better than a store bought tomato

Defiant: Hybrid, disease resistant, earlier hybrid. Overall solid tomato

Brandywine: (Quisenberry strain): - Heirloom, and my personal favorite

Marianna's Peace: Heirloom similar to Brandywine, winner of last year's SRF Tomato Eating Contest

Carbon: Larger heirloom, never grown this variety, but it has won tomato tasting contests.

Coracae de Boi: - A Portuguese friend gave me these seeds to try. They are a nearly extinct heirloom that I am excited to try

5 Star: classic grape red grape tomato

Sun Gold: (not an imposter, but the real Sun Gold): a yellow cherry that is the sweetest tomato you have ever eaten

Black Cherry: A larger dark skinned cherry, a great tomato taste

There's a few others, but I'll tell you about them when they start coming in.

A side note: Most CSA's don't really do heirlooms since they produce very few tomatoes per plant and they are incredibly inconsistent. With a clear conscience, I couldn't just grow hybrid tomatoes without you having the experience of tasting heirlooms from time to time.

This week, everyone will be getting New Girl tomatoes and the full share people will also be getting the cherry/grape tomatoes. As weeks go on, more varieties and higher quantities will be available.

Also I will be giving you a head of garlic. This is a German variety called Music. If you love garlic, you will adore this. Since it's freshly picked, the skin will not be dried. If fresh garlic scares you, please roast it to bring out the sweetness.

Also you will be getting:

Yellow squash

Zucchini

Pickler cucumbers

Standard cucumbers

Eggplant

Beets

Cabbage

Dill

Enjoy the season,

Mark

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