Monday, July 20, 2009

The Real First Day of Summer is the Day You Pick the First Tomato

I have long loved the black varieties of tomatoes: Black Prince, Black From Tula, Black Cherry, Nyagous, Black Plum.  Mostly heirlooms, so not as available, except by seed, although I have found several local sources that carry some of them.

I don't have the patience to wait until late August and September for the giant Brandywines, which usually get nibbled by wildlife before me anyway, so one of the qualities about these I love is that they are smaller, ripen sooner, and are perfect for a burger, with a slice or two left to eat with just salt and pepper.

The flavor is deep and rich, and often described as having the character of red wine.  They are prone to cracking, and aren't really black, but more like the color of bruise, with tints of brown.

So yesterday was the day.  The weather most of the summer has been unseasonably cool, and yesterday was no exception.  It was a pleasant day to defrost the basement freezer (not something I'd usually contemplate in July, but it was a long overdue project since the freezer contained mostly stalactites and stalagmites, which left little room for actual food). 

I also read a book that believe it or not, had nothing at all to do with food (The Fate of Katherine Carr).  

I had some grass-fed beef burgers to grill for dinner and a stroll past the garden revealed the first black tomato of the season was ready to harvest.  The photo of the burger, perfectly grilled, and tucked into a grill toasted ciabatta roll, with a few slices of this tomato and some fresh lettuce from the garden,  was pretty ugly, because I didn't want to spend a lot of time futzing with it - I wanted to eat it!

I enjoyed every juicy, fresh bite.  Ahh, summer is finally here.


  1. I love heirloom tomatoes! So glad to see them in the stores right now - but even better to see them in the garden!

  2. Nice blog> enjoyed going through your blog. Keep it up the good work. Beth


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