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Heirloom Tomatoes

ChuckD41's picture

Our California politicians are doing such a great job, that I propose renaming the Heirloom Tomato the "California Politician Tomato!?

They both make a great first impression, both are very expensive, both nearly always "fail to deliver" on their first impression.

Heather's picture

(post #57252, reply #1 of 17)

I don't get the analogy. Our heirlooms sometimes don't look very handsome but they are always delicious.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57252, reply #2 of 17)

Nope, me neither, because our heirlooms certainly do "deliver" in taste.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
ChuckD41's picture

(post #57252, reply #3 of 17)

WE live in California and our Heirloom Tomatoes come from Mexico and cost approximately $5 per pound. They are grown in poor soil and in 100 plus degree heat. They have been rebred to be able to be picked in this heat, piled 4 feet deep in a trailer and trucked 200 miles. We end up with tough skin, juice and seeds interior. And, you are right, our tomatoes we grew when back in the Midwest were wonderful.

Sorry for the confusion.

Chuck

Gretchen's picture

(post #57252, reply #4 of 17)

Why would you buy them?   ;o)  But they don't sound like "real" heirlooms (I know you said they've been rebred=NON-heirloom to me). Heirlooms we have are extremely thin skinned.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Heather's picture

(post #57252, reply #5 of 17)

We live in California too--grow your own wonderful heirlooms, that's what we do.

I wouldn't consider anything that was grown in another country, picked unripe, trucked hundreds of miles to be an actual "heirloom" tomato. Not to mention that you say they are bred to be grown a certain way--that's not an heirloom, it's a hybrid. ;-)

Sorry for the echo, Gretchen. I hadn't read your post.


Edited 3/27/2009 11:18 am by Heather

Gretchen's picture

(post #57252, reply #7 of 17)

That's okay--we needed to hear from another Californian anyway!!  I think our OP needs to eat a real heirloom.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
cookgreen's picture

(post #57252, reply #8 of 17)

I owe many thanks to CT for introducing me to heirlooms. We have a hobby greenhouse attached to an old barn, (both soon to be flooded) and if DH was always dismayed when by summer time I couldn't really differentiate between most of my 17 varieties of tomatoes, he's pleasantly surprised by the heirlooms.

It's rather easy to see, not just taste, the difference between, Green Zebra, Yellow Pear, Blondkopfen, Black Plum, Purple Russian, Black Krim and the wonderful Cherokee Purple. They are all so unique, not just great tasting!

Only one new one this year, Red Zebra, can you just imagine that in a salad with Green Zebra, especially since some green get quite yellow. Yes, I wish them a real heirloom to eat, but growing them is so much fun too. Please nobody tell me they're eating them yet, we're starting ours in about 10 days, seeding that is.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57252, reply #9 of 17)

Well, yes, we are eating a few--not growing them. They are coming into our farmers' market and I assume are coming from Florida. Had a nice cherokee purple, and some nice bright yellow with a little red stripe--I think it was too big to be a yellow zebra, and the stripe wasn't quite like those.  They still aren't "summer" quality, needless to say. But there is a glimmer.

Gretchen

Gretchen
msm-s's picture

(post #57252, reply #10 of 17)

I thought Heirloom meant it was an older breed, a la Beefsteak tomatoes, Big Boys etc. (just as an example; I don't know which strains are newer). then, Commercially raised vs homegrown is a whole 'nother aspect, with homegrown definitely being better. I had thought it was possible to have a commercially grown heirloom plant- am I wrong? thanks for clearing it up.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57252, reply #12 of 17)

I don't consider beefsteaks or big boys anything like "heirlooms".

Gretchen

Gretchen
Heather's picture

(post #57252, reply #13 of 17)

An heirloom is an older variety of tomato and one that reproduces true to type from seed. Beefsteaks and Big Boys are hybrids and don't reproduce dependably from seed. Therefore they are not heirlooms, even though they have been cultivated for many years.

Heirlooms tend to be more susceptible to disease so they aren't commercially grown on a large scale although there are plenty of small farms that grow heirlooms for farmers' markets, etc.

msm-s's picture

(post #57252, reply #15 of 17)

thanks. I didn't word that right- I pulled beefsteak and big boy out of the air as an example of a breed vs whether a tomato was grown at home or commercially. I realized they specifiacally may not be heirloom.
I was confused by the earlier comments that commercial tomatoes were not heirloom.

Sheri's picture

(post #57252, reply #16 of 17)

Sigh. I don't think we'll be growing any this year. We're in the light brown apple moth quarantine zone and aren't allowed to take anything off our property. Does the quarantine extend up to you?

Maybe we'll try to just limit ourselves to one or two plants. I love growing a bunch and sharing the tomatoes with our friends, though.

Heather's picture

(post #57252, reply #17 of 17)

We haven't been included in the quarantine yet, but I'll bet we will at some time since they've found them in Woodside and Portola Valley I think.
You still have to grow enough for yourself!

kathymcmo's picture

(post #57252, reply #6 of 17)

Get some from your local farmers market and you'll change your mind.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57252, reply #14 of 17)

I have to ask...why on earth would you buy such tomatoes?


 


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

KarenP's picture

(post #57252, reply #11 of 17)

that I propose renaming the Heirloom Tomato the "California Politician Tomato!?


  I understand what you're saying about midwest tomatoes, BUT those heirlooms from the market in CA are killer.  You could however, change that to the beef...I'm not high on CA beef in the least.