its that time of year again! In our house, my husband
happens to be the gardener. This year he had an unusual fascination
so as a result we have an abundance of tomatoes
so much so, that we are giving daily yields away to
anyone who is willing to take them. Even though, I admit to
not being the one with the green thumb, I have managed to
learn quite a bit regarding different tomato varieties and
how they fit into the culinary world.
great slicer for sandwiches, cooking and salads (see our
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad")
Beefsteaks are the biggest tomatoes with
a relatively small pulp cavity. Because of the compressed
and relatively small pulp cavity these tomatoes hold up nicely
when sliced. Also because of their high fruit wall to pulp
ratio, they also cook down well for sauces. Among the beefsteaks
there are many varieties that vary in density, juiciness,
size and flavor.
Beef F1 Very productive, regular frit shape, with
little or no cracking. Good flavor.
Big Rainbow A large to very
large yellow beefsteak. As the fruit ripens its coloring resembles
a rainbow. The flesh is marbled red and orange. Great taste.
Brandywine - A large beefsteak. Known
for its wonderful sweet flavor. Moderately productive. This
beefsteak has little disease resistance and is not suited
to very humid hot areas where disease tends to be a problem.
Salad Tomatoes great
for summer salads
These tomatoes have lots of seed pulp which
makes them less desirable for slicing and slow in reducing
for sauces. But their smaller size makes them ideal for cutting
in half or quarters and using them in salads or salsas.
Early Girl Starts maturing
fruit early in the season and carries on producing to relatively
late in the season. Early Girls tend to be moderately sweet
with medium to high acidity.
Moneymaker Attractive, round,
medium sized fruit on a plant better suited for more humid
conditions. Good flavor with medium sweetness. Low acid when
well ripened and high acidity when just ripe.
Taxi Lemon yellow turning
deep yellow when mature. Round to slightly flattened shape
and medium in size. Good, slightly savory flavor with relatively
tender skin. Grows well even in humid hot areas.
Tigrella A small fruit with
red and orange stripes. Low acidity and moderate sweetness.
Cherry Tomatoes great snacking
fruit or left whole or halved in salads.
Gardeners Delight Vigorous
variety produces trusses of 6-12 sweet small fruit throughout
Sweet 100 F1 This plant is
vigorous and very productive. The small fruit are sweet with
a little acid. One of the very best cherry tomatoes.
Toe Bright red tomatoes that have excellent sugar
and acid balance.
Sun Gold A golden yellow cherry
tomato with great flavor. Performs well over a wide range
of climatic conditions.
Sun Cherry F1 Red small fruit
with a sweet flavor.
As you can see there are many different
varieties of tomatoes, and Ive only just scratched the
surface here in this article. If you get a chance you should
try out the heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms are old varieties
which have been maintained either because of appealing attributes
or because of family sentimental reasons. These tomatoes havent
been genetically altered by plant breeders and as a
result lack disease resistance. Most people will agree, however,
that heirlooms have greater texture, flavor, aroma and tenderness
than commercial varieties. Heirlooms come in ripened colors
of purple, striped and even white. There are stuffers, beefsteaks
and even strange shaped varieties.
Due to our abundant crop of tomatoes, both
heirlooms and standard varieties, Ive had the pleasure
of utilizing tomatoes in many of this months recipes.
If you happen to be in the same predicament as myself (with
more tomatoes than you know
what to do with), or you simply love tomatoes here
are a few great recipes utilizing this great fruit!
with Mozzarella & Basil
Basa with Tomatoes
Halibut with Mole & Pico de Gallo
with Tomatoes & Crème Fraiche
with Tomato & Herbs
Pasta Salad with Tomatoes & Kalamata Olives
Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Yellow Pepper & Roasted Tomato Soup
Tomatoes with Polenta