Tomatoes: A Love Story

On hot summer days like the past few weeks have seen; its to hot to cook, to move, or to do just about anything. Philadelphia, Like the rest of the Northeastern seaboard, has been enveloped by a hot, sticky, humid, mess of a summer; however, for me, this can only be made acceptable by the promise of a delicious tomato season. These lycopene rich fruits generally come to Pennsylvania in July and are around until roughly September. If you are lucky enough to be able to pick up some tomatoes at a local farm stand in season, you can truly taste the vast difference between heirloom and local tomatoes, as opposed to their bastardized GMO and off season sisters available year round at many super market chains

As I mentioned last month, my roommates and I have been participating in a CSA from Lancaster Farm Fresh, and this week we got our first tomatoes. A friend recently told me, to my outrage, that they only liked tomatoes on pizza. I had a sneaking suspicion, however, that they just hadn't met the right tomato yet.  For many, simply eating these juicy jewels like apples is enough, but for those who need a little convincing on the tomato front, there are many ways to help bring out their natural goodness. I most enjoy fresh tomatoes  simply on some good bread with a little mayo, salt, pepper and basil. Today I have already had about 3…My mother from New Jersey, a born tomato fiend, enjoys her tomatoes sliced with layers of basil, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and some fresh parmesan or mozzarella. 

Pennsylvania is are now entering the early tomato season, and in my garden I have about a handful of green tomatoes on the vine. I have around 8 different varietals in my garden this year including a beautiful heirloom varietal, the Brandywine. Considered to be one of the best tasting, this type bears a large pink beefsteak-like tomato that is one of my favorites. I also have a few Sun Golds from Peace Tree Farms, as well as a few Early Girls and beefsteaks. There is a vast variety of tomatoes and they generally require minimal maintenance, aside from staking. So heres to a wonderful tomato season, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!