Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Heirloom tomatoes


sadistick
 Share

Recommended Posts

Without getting too off topic...

Anzu is right, I will be in Munich.

I live in a small conservative midwestern town now, but even here the farmer's markets seem to have really picked up in the past 5 years. Even in the short time I've been here I find more and more people attending these things, and it is no longer limited to just the minority associated with the university. They recently added an extra day, which makes life a lot easier. It runs June through October.

It wouldn't be fair to compare this type of market with a normal supermarket produce section anywhere, as the products are grown in small batches by attentive producers. But the nice thing is that it has pushed the local supermarket produce departments to become at least marginally better. (Though I still can't get heirlooms in a regular supermarket.)

In Germany I find supermarket produce absolutely awful, even by midwestern standards. I was really shocked the first time I shopped there. Turkish and Asian kiosks are marginally better, but the weekly markets usually have a lot of nice stuff. For instance, I simply cannot get good berries or chanterelles where I live, and even if I could they would be extremely expensive. In Germany, when they are in season they are affordabe at the wochenmarkt and moreover they taste good. I've just never seen any nonstandard tomatoes. Are they common anywhere in Europe?

edit: anzu, next time plant your family in the Viktualienmarkt biergarten for an hour or so. They'll have fun soaking in the Bavarian-ness of it all, and you can do some shopping :wink:

Edited by Behemoth (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on which part of the US you are talking about, and which part of Germany.

i was actually talking about california ;-)

I lived in the American mid-West for 5 years. There were NO farmers markets, pretty much the only place to buy fruits and vegetables was in supermarkets, and the fruit and veg. were anything but ideal.

i assume right in the middle of a desert the repertory is somewhat sparse :)

Fruits were picked so green they would never ripen, many of the vegetables were limp, or even rotting due to the water regularly sprayed onto them in the display.

same thing true for most german supermarkets

I haven't been to Munich's Viktualienmarkt. Annoyingly, I was within spitting distance just last week, but was with two elderly relatives from abroad who were unable to walk much, and could not be left alone as they could not find their way about without help.

the vikualienmarkt is pretty much the only gourmet market in germany and VERY expensive... ;-)

Edited by schneich (log)

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in the American mid-West for 5 years. There were NO farmers markets,

I currently live in the Midwest and find farmer's markets readily available. Not only in the larger cities but also in smaller towns. And I find heirloom tomatos in all of them. Tomatos like Brandywines, Cherokee Purples, Arkansas Travelers, Mortgage lifters, Green Zebras, Jonagolds, ect.

Edited by joiei (log)

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm to the west of the midwest, I guess, but there are hardly any varieties of tomatoes available here, either at supermarket or farmers market. Just the very basic ones, rarely an heirloom. In the past ten years, the variety at the store has increased, but we're no Seattle.

Besides, with the advent of the WalMart food center, no one is carrying as many varieties of anything if they want to compete.

I'm not sure that I'd call the midwest a desert, though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in the American mid-West for 5 years. There were NO farmers markets, pretty much the only place to buy fruits and vegetables was in supermarkets, and the fruit and veg. were anything but ideal.
i assume right in the middle of a desert the repertory is somewhat sparse :)

:huh:

Desert? I don't get any of this. Don't know which "midwest" you all are talking about. I've lived in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. And certainly traveled throughout the rest of the "midwest." It's all farm country. In fact, it's called the "breadbasket of the world." And it is. You drive for miles and miles and miles past row after row after row of cultivated crops. And there are roadside farm stands throughout. There's no "desert" here whatsoever that I've been able to ascertain.

On the other hand, I've also lived in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. I know from desert.

And the Great American Midwest ain't it.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in the American mid-West for 5 years. There were NO farmers markets, pretty much the only place to buy fruits and vegetables was in supermarkets, and the fruit and veg. were anything but ideal.
i assume right in the middle of a desert the repertory is somewhat sparse :)

:huh:

Desert? I don't get any of this. Don't know which "midwest" you all are talking about. I've lived in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. And certainly traveled throughout the rest of the "midwest." It's all farm country. In fact, it's called the "breadbasket of the world." And it is. You drive for miles and miles and miles past row after row after row of cultivated crops. And there are roadside farm stands throughout. There's no "desert" here whatsoever that I've been able to ascertain.

On the other hand, I've also lived in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. I know from desert.

And the Great American Midwest ain't it.

I think it was meant as a joke. Or perhaps, a reference to it being a cultural (as opposed to physical) desert. The use of winking smileys would seem to support this assumption.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in the American mid-West for 5 years. There were NO farmers markets, pretty much the only place to buy fruits and vegetables was in supermarkets, and the fruit and veg. were anything but ideal.
i assume right in the middle of a desert the repertory is somewhat sparse :)
On the other hand, I've also lived in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. I know from desert.

And the Great American Midwest ain't it.

I think it was meant as a joke. Or perhaps, a reference to it being a cultural (as opposed to physical) desert. The use of winking smileys would seem to support this assumption.

Perhaps you're right. Or perhaps it was written by somebody that lives in Germany that has never visited the American midwest and is working off of incorrect assumptions.

Although I agree with you that assuming the former is the wiser course.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I agree with you that assuming the former is the wiser course.

it WAS meant as a joke even though one could sometimes feel deserted no matter in which part of this great country one is... ;-)

Ah, the desert of the modern condition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow this conversation really changed directions...lol

I still need to post some pictures of this crazy variety...still want to figure out what they are called.

can you at least give us a description, bright red, pinkish, pink and yellow mottled, very meaty or little meat and lots of seeds, thick or thin skinned? That could be enough to get us started.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better yet, a picture.

Never seen this variety before...

Its quite unique in taste...its a much lighter tomatoe taste, little acidic, but still sweet. The skin is very crunchy which is unique, and very little seeds, nice and fleshy.

gallery_25807_982_101813.jpg

Anyone seen one of these before?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better yet, a picture.

Never seen this variety before...

Its quite unique in taste...its a much lighter tomatoe taste, little acidic, but still sweet.  The skin is very crunchy which is unique, and very little seeds, nice and fleshy.

gallery_25807_982_101813.jpg

Anyone seen one of these before?

Click here

and scroll down to green sausage tomato.

Read the description = your tomato.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Has there been a cook-off for stuffed vegetables yet?

There should be one if not.

I made a modified version of this dish from the September issue of Gourmet: an egg baked in a small Purple Cherokee.

What were they thinking? Don't discard the goop scooped out of the tomato; save it for gazpacho or some other use. I simply seasoned the tomato shell, added some crumbled bacon, watercress and grated Parmesan before the egg. Would be good with fresh roasted chile strips, too. On a bed of watercress sprinkled with the other crumbled strip of bacon and a squirt of lemon with a wedge of buttermillk cornbread baked with fresh corn and onions.

* * *

As for the tomato above, for the first time I noticed there were yellow and orange plum tomatoes in the farmers market this weekend. Does anyone make a distinction between genuine, revived varities of tomatoes and new hybrids?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have some heirloom tomatoes growing as I type. Not sure of the variety but they came from from my niece-in-law' Great-great Grandmother. Seeds have been saved and passed down through the family. In my opinion that qualifies as heirloom! They are big, dark pink and sweet. Great with cottage cheese, vidalia onions and a tsp. of Hellman's, all mixed together!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I just ate the first tomato out of our garden today. German Red Strawberry heirloom variety that I've been saving seeds and growing for 10 years now. I've recently tried several others' tomatoes out of their garden, and I have to say (admittedly immodestly) that these tomatoes beat every tomato I have ever tasted. Exactly the right amount of tart vs sweet. Few seeds, never mealy or ribby, just wonderful. They make an awesome sauce without the need to sweeten them at all and are simply divine with some ground pepper and balsamic (which incidentally will be my 'snack' at work tomorrow,alone with a green pepper out of the garden). If you can get your hands on some of these seeds, start them indoors early (they are slow germinators) and they're a late variety. I'm in CT and I just picked the first one yesterday and folks I know that are blissfully happy with their 'Early Girls' and 'Big Boys' have been picking for weeks already. But the wait was oooooh so worth it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To Susan in Florida,

If you are looking for a tomato that will be a permanent fixture, you should know that there is a class of tomatoes that have naturalized in the South and especially in the Florida wetlands.

Some people even try to sell some special form or the other with extravagant claims. However, all are some variants of the type represented by the cultivar Mexico Midget. The plant is no midget, but not especially unruly like some of the currant tomatoes that are actually of the species L. pimpinnifolium. I can send you a few fresh seeds, about 5, of MM, as a start. [more if my harvests are good]. Nice and tasty, fuss free.

You can also join Tomatoville a website for tomato lovers, and get the dehybridized Sungold or Sunsugar, the open-pollinated Thai Pink etc. All these are of the type cerasiformae, i.e. cherry tomatoes. Some cherry tomatoes can get quite large as in Large Red Cherry or in Camp Joy, the latter well worth experimenting with.

If you could indicate what role you would like these tomatoes of yours to fill, that would help with further choices. Larger beefsteak types might be more difficult, but not necessarily an insurmountable problem.

Tomato Growers Supply in Florida is a reliable source of true-to-name seed.

Sadistick,

There is a gentleman named Tom Wagner who is the premier breeder and expert on green-fleshed tomatoes in this country if not the world. You can send him a question at the website mentioned above.

gautam

Edited by v. gautam (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been eating heirloom tomatoes from Whole Foods for the past three weeks. They're expensive, but so worth it. Two main ways I eat them . . . #1, in a sandwich. Fresh sourdough bread, a bit of mayonaisse, think slices of tomato, some anchony filets, and lots of freshly ground pepper. #2, in a tomato risotto. I peel the tomatoes, core and seed them, then blend them. Put the pulpy juice in a pot and heat it gently right beside the pot that contains the chicken broth for the risotto. As I make the risotto, I alternate ladles full of broth with the liquified tomatoes. Makes a very rich and tomatoey meal.

Paul B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To Susan in Florida:

If you are still reading this thread and still interested in experimenting with tomatoes as perennials, a few more ideas:

Upthread, spoke about the smaller size of cherry, Mexican Midget, that already has naturalized in the South.

Sungold and Sunsugar certainly are worth a try.

Moving up to larger-sized cherries [may also be used as slicing tomatoes if you are mentally adaptable]

Large Red Cherry [Tomato Growers Supply, TGS, others]

Royal Red Cherry [Victory Seeds, V]

Russian Red, bred in New Zealand! an upright hardy sort [V]

Tommy Toe, Austr. [TGS]

For larger, slicing tomatoes, these would be my initial choices to experiment with; the first 3 have proven themselves under Southern conditions for decades. Good taste, too.

Traveler 76, an improved type of the famous Traveler (NOT Arkansas Traveler) released by U. Arkansas [V]

Pinkshipper (sic), USDA [V]

Louisiana Gulf State [V]

Nepal [V, TGS]

Climbing Tripl-Crop [TGS]: have a personal blind spot for this one; 15 feet vines can be trailed along fence, shifted east aspect summer, south winter. Large meaty, pectin-rich tomato, mild flavor. May be disease prone in wet weather, but have never tried it under tropical conditions!

gautam

Edited by v. gautam (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Ah! It is finally January in South Florida, and time for revenge.

My first "real" tomato of the year - Marianna's Peace -

gallery_39581_5592_758379.jpg

We ate it two days ago. We prepared it by slicing, spreading across the plate for presentation with a salt cellar next to it, and in what must be a truly sacred ritual - we each selected one slice at a time, taking turns, each rolling eyes and talking about how wonderful life can be.

She's in my avatar as a whole fruit (for now), and was grown in a self watering container on the back porch made from two Rubbermaid Storage bins. At last count she had 13 siblings on the vine. Earl's Faux was yesterday, and we tried to decide which one was a more life changing experience and couldn't, so we have to eat more! :biggrin:

Seriously, I know it is not practical for a lot of lifestyles, but the eating experience is something amazing when you grow yourself. I grow the vast majority in the ground, but the water situation down here has inspired me to be creative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...