Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cherokee Purple

Jake and I love Cherokee purple tomatoes (our favorite heirloom breed). Heirloom tomatoes have a much richer taste. Once you've had a heirloom tomato it hard to eat the store tomatoes. I love tomato season. It is always a sad day when I eat my last garden tomato and have to go back to the store ones until the next year. Our last tomato day was a couple of months ago, but I was just thinking about it today because my seeds are still out drying. The great thing about heirlooms is they aren't cross bred so their seeds aren't sterile and you can get offspring next year from this year's seeds.

Jake and I bought a Cherokee purple at the farmer's market in Monterey and saved the seeds. I gave half to my dad and I kept half. Jake and I only got a few this year (we discovered a pollination problem with our pots on our patio - - no bees come down there, and we solved the problem a little late.) My dad got some beautiful tomatoes.

Another thing is heirlooms aren't bred to look good or have long shelf life like store bought tomatoes so beauty must be found in their knobby, distorted shapes. But, oh, the taste is remarkable - nothing like a tomato bred to be perfectly round and bright red with long shelf life to be transported.

Jake used to think I was crazy to eat a tomato by itself in slices or like an apple. That was before I introduced him to heirlooms. Just have to cut it up and a little sea salt, maybe some fresh ground pepper or olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have a perfect snack or side dish for dinner!!

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