simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Heirloom Tomatoes
2 ... 2 ...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Heirloom Tomatoes

A photographer friend, Bill and I routinely visit the farmers market at Union Square (click here for any of 6 previous posts: Union Square, Flora, Union Square Greenmarket, Luna Park Cafe, Metronome, and the fascinating story of Joe Ades - Genteleman Peeler). Bill has done a tremendous amount of fine work photographing fruit (click here). He has spoken of heirloom tomatoes often, yet I only first tried them recently at the Union Square Cafe - they make an amazing Heirloom salad appetizer. Subsequently on a visit to the farmer's market at Tompkins Square, I finally purchased my first heirloom tomato - and ate it. Heirloom tomatoes are hugely popular in the city right now and this trend is for good reason. You only have to taste one to see how much flavor we have lost to the products of agribusiness and modern commercial farming. The definition of heirloom tomatoes varies somewhat. Some use age of seed strain (50 to 100 years or older), others may use pre-World War II as a demarcation point. But in the most literal sense, heirloom tomatoes are ones where the cultivar has been nurtured and handed down from generation to generation. It is also generally agreed that they are open-pollinated and with no genetically modified organisms used. There are hundreds of varieties with names like Mortgage Lifter, Green Grape, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Black Krim, Brandywine, White Wonder, Amish Paste, Stupice, etc. (click here for a sample list). If you have not had an heirloom tomato before, I highly recommend you get yourself to a good farmer's market as soon as possible and buy at least one. No need to prepare it, just eat it like any fruit with reckless abandon - watch the juice running down your arm ...
Note about the photo: this was taken yesterday at the farmers market (Norwich Meadows Farms stand) at Tompkins Square Park while attending the Howl festival - the subject of another posting this week.


Post a Comment