Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yes, More Tomatoes

Belatedly showing off what I grew this summer: Green beefsteak..looking like mirabelle plums are peach tomatoes...red and yellow is an italian style slightly acid salad tomato...dark brown tomato is black crim (Crimean) the lighter brownish one is the other side..large red is American beefsteak...curly top is French style tomato with its other side next to it.

Paul Levy's comment on my last post reminds me that I didn't even begin to nod my head in the direction of tomato colors which are now so various that many restaurants have taken to making first courses of tomato salads mixing varieties, colors and cuts.

Orange tomatoes are beautiful and tend to be extra sweet. Yellows are less sweet but sweeter tahn red. I don't know the green variety he mentions, but am waiting for more news from him. When I get it, or when a reader supplies information, I will post it in time for seed ordering. I know of at least two American varieties that are so dark that they are almost brown. One is Paul Robeson, named after the late great basso. I will try to get the name of the other by tomorrow. Both of these are sweet and very juicy in the mode of the great American beefsteak and have intense flavor and good acid balance. They are best, as are the beefsteaks, simply sliced and drizzled with salt and olive oil and, perhaps a chopping of basil--I particularly like the lettuce leaf kind for this. It is a little milder than the usual basil and more tender--easier to cut and chew.

There are now tiger-striped tomatoes--orange and green or red and yellow. They are beautiful; but I haven't been overwhelmed by the flavor.

More on basil tomorrow.

1 comment:

Paul Levy said...

We grew Paul Robeson last year. In view of his politics, it is touching that it is one of the vatiety Black Russian. I decided I don't like Black Russian tomatoes in general, as by the time they ripen on the vine and show red, they're mushy inside (a bit like the great man's own political development, come to think of it).They really have to be picked and eaten under-ripe - when they're good, but not great, in salads