If Tim Burton Created a Vegetable, It Would Be The Heirloom Tomato

I normally don’t buy heirloom tomatoes because they are pricey, but when I was faced with a whole display of them at Eataly, I couldn’t help myself. They were $4/lb, which is crazy for tomatoes, but they were so pretty to look at. Mr. Juice tried to pull me away, but I got him to back off when I grab a red and green striped tomato and held it up to him and pouted that I was “holding Christmas in my hands, how can we not buy them?” So he walked away and let me happily pick out expensive tomatoes that we shouldn’t be spending money on.

OK, so heirloom tomatoes (aka heritage tomatoes aka antique tomatoes) are different from those chain grocery store bright red tomatoes that we see and use. Scientifically it gets kind of complicated and your eyes might even glaze over if I give a full explanation here, so let me just give you a couple key points.

1)    Heirloom tomatoes have open air pollination which means that it isn’t controlled. That means that they are pollinated naturally by nature, by bees and birds and wind, etc which isn’t the case for lots of things that we buy nowadays.

2)    Seeds from each crop are passed on to create a new crop. Think of it like passing jewelry from generation to generation.

Heirloom tomatoes remind me of tomatoes as seen through Tim Burton’s eyes. They come in different shapes and colors and rainbows, and the flavor, the flavors are amazing. While each breed/type tastes differently, the commonality that I found in the ones I have eaten are that there is a naturally light sweetness and incredible freshness that awakens you when you eat it. It doesn’t taste like your typical tomato at the grocery store that can be boring and bland. These tomatoes are the real deal and I love them.

-Joyce Huang

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