Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heirloom tomatoes? What's so special about them?

So... as I mentioned on my 100 things you eat before you die posting, I've never had heirloom tomatoes. I LOVE tomatoes so I figured that would be a pretty easy thing to mark off the list. I picked on up when I was at Whole Foods tonight getting my stuff for the Millet Skillet.

According to Wikipedia there are a few different ways people define "heirloom". One school of thought bases it on the age of the seed, stating that the seed must be over 100 or 50 years old. Another way of defining heirloom is that an heirloom is a "cultivar that has been nurtured, selected, and handed down from one family member to another for many generations."....hmmm I'm not sure what the means. Another category of "heirlooms" are commercial heirlooms which were introduced a long time ago and the seed company dropped the line of tomato or went out of business...

I think my tomato fit the last definition because it was bland as hell! If I were a tomato producer I would have dropped that line too! The flesh of the tomato was quite dense and chewy... kind of like chewing raw zucchini, and it didn't have the vibrant taste of a beefsteak or vine tomato. Also the skin and the flesh right around the skin tasted kind of like the white part of a wedge of watermelon (is that the rind?). All in all it was bland and chewy and rindy. I can't say I "hated" it... I don't know if I could actually form the sentence "I hate a tomato", but I definitely wouldn't buy it to snack on.

I could possibly see how it could be good in a salad that needed a milder background flavor to showcase more intense flavors... I think they would be good in salads with mint or feta... but unfortunatly it was not good in my mouth this evening so I'll give the heirloom tomato a C.

1 comment:

janet said...

I love tomatoes! On the vine and cherry are best for snacking. too bad about the crappy heirloom one.