Heirloom Tomatoes are a non-hybrid heirloom variety of tomatoes and they are mostly known for sweeter and thus more versatile taste, when it comes to their culinary application. They also have a shorter shelf life and are more prone to diseases.
The variety came to be rather recently because it’s a product of 1940s technology that allowed for mutations made to turn tomatoes sweeter and to produce sugar from.
They are now rather common in restaurants and better supplied markets.
Heirloom Tomato Trivia
- The term “Heirloom” applied to plants was apparently first used by Kent Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange.
- They have very few seeds and need to be treated with care.
- Their seeds can be saved which isn’t the case with ordinary tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomato Buying Guide
There are a few easy to notice signs that your heirloom tomato is ready to bring it home. Firstly, you should look for the tomatoes that look ripe, shiny, and fresh in terms of colors and having no blemishes on the skin.
The ripe ones on should also smell sweet and kind of earthy. It’s also better go beyond your local supermarket and focus on the produce coming from small vendors.
Heirloom Tomato Production & Farming in Texas
These tomatoes are grown from seeds unlike most of other tomatoes and they can be grown pretty much everywhere in Texas because the climate allows for it. Some of these seeds are therefore handed down through generations of farmers.
They are rather easy to grow and they will grow in both gardens and professional farming setting equally well but on different scales. The soil needs to be rich and loamy and allow the roots to penetrate into it deeply and openly. Keep the soil moist and with the proper amount of mulch.
The light is one of the most important features needed to grow your own tomatoes. They crave to much more than other garden plants. They need full exposure to sunlight throughout the day as long as there is enough sunlight avaialbe.
There are a few varieties to consieder:
* Brandywine is a giant pinkish-red ruffled fruits, tender skin, and juicy complex flavor. It’s sweet, followed by tangy and spicy, followed by savory and umami flavors, all in one magnificent bite.
– Black Krim tomatoes originated from Krim, Russia, and quickly gained a wide following with their sweet, robust flavor and handsome maroon fruits.
Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes stay green until harvest. They are the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.
Synthetic insecticidal sprays for tomatoes may contain one of the following ingredients: permethrin, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, malathion, carbaryl or cyfluthrin
The official definition of these tomatoes is that those are the tomatoes that have been open pollinated propagated for more than 50 years. However, these days the term is used for those that have been pollinated regardless of the amount of time that has been done.
This usually means that the seeds are spread locally and by farmers that have used them themselves. It doesn’t however, mean that all the heirloom tomatoes you find will be local since they spread around over time.
There’s no difference in terms of packaging when it comes to these tomatoes and the ordinary ones. The tomatoes are packed in cardboard boxes and moved as such from the farms to the stores. They are therefore easy to store but not for a long period of time.
These tomatoes vary in size which means that they are not as neatly packed as the ordinary ones but other than that there’s no difference.
Enjoying Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes can be eaten pretty much in every way the ordinary ones can but since they offer a variety of sizes and tastes, there’s room to experiment here. They will mostly be used fresh in salads and pastas but there are other more creative recipes out there.
The tomatoes should be used quickly while they are fresh. Heirloom tomatoes will also taste sweeter and more mild than the ordinary ones and that’s something to take into account when mixing them with other ingredients.
Heirloom Tomatoes and ordinary tomatoes are stored the same way since there’s no difference in how they react to the cold. However, they are often not as ripe when they are used and how ripe they are, is determining how they are stored. Unripe tomatoes should be stored stem down in paper bag or towel.
Ripe tomatoes can be kept at a room temperature.
There’s a lot of room for experimenting and trying new things when it comes to heirloom tomatoes even though they seem like a mundane every day vegetable. Here are a few:
-These tomatoes can be a perfect toping for an avocado toast.
-You can turn them into gazpacho
-Slice them on a toast with some basil and olive oil.
-Chop and saute with garlic and spinach. This becomes a great past topic.
-They make for a great salad when you add watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil.
-They could be used to make a tomato pie if they are little less than ripe.
-Slice them up and add scramble eggs to make an omelet.
Heirloom tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps nourish the adrenal glands and reduces stress. One medium heirloom provides 40 percent of your daily requirement of this immune-building nutrient.
Tomatoes protect cardiovascular health. They are rich in potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure as well as folate, which has been shown to help with a lower incidence of heart attacks.
Organically grown tomatoes tend to be higher in lycopene, a kind of carotenoid that plays a role in the prevention of cancer. Studies show that lycopene is protective against bladder, breast, cervical, colorectal, endometrial, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and skin cancers.
Heirloom tomatoes are a good source of vitamin K necessary for healthy, strong bones.
Heirloom tomatoes add tremendous flavour to your cooking yet are low in calories. With only 27 calories per cup, you can enjoy a sun-ripened tomato as a snack, just like an apple! Garnish your next soup or dip with chopped heirloom tomato for an extra zip.
When Are Heirloom Tomatoes in Season in Texas?
To find out when Heirloom Tomatoes are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.