When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

26 August 2006

Heirloom tomatoes

Walking the dogs past the little farmer's market in our neighborhood today, we spotted a table full of funky-looking heirloom tomatoes.

Naturally, we bought a bunch and are planning to assemble a tasting menu for dinner tonight; we've got a loaf of good peasant bread, sweet butter and kosher salt, and we may not have anything else at all.

heirloom tomatoes scaled.jpg
Tomato porn.

These are some of the same cultivars that your grandfather might have sliced and enjoyed on a sandwich--Cherokee Purples, German Johnsons, Mortgage Lifters--before the botanists at the ag schools got hold of them and started concocting hybrids that could be picked green, "force-ripened" with chemical gases and would survive shipping and have a longer shelf life at the grocers.

heirloom tomatoes front view scaled.jpg
Front view.

These heirloom tomatoes look completely unlike grocery store red-softball tomatoes. They are butt-ugly, shaped strangely, and they all have only one thing in common:

They taste absolutely great.
Ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin' out in the garden
Get you a ripe 'un don't get a hard 'un

Plant 'em in the spring eat 'em in the summer
All winter without 'em's a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'
Everytime I go out & pick me a big 'un

Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and homegrown tomatoes

- Guy Clark

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