Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tomato Tasting and Salsa Competition

Tomato Varieties Labeled for Sampling 
One of my favorite farmers market events is the annual tomato tasting.  This is the 4th year that Countryside Conservancy's market has held the tasting.

The market vendors contribute different varieties, which are labeled, then set out for sampling along with some salt and a comprehensive listing/tasting note sheet.   It really is amazing to see the different colors, shapes, and to taste how different the flavors can vary.

One of the salsas vying for 1st prize 
Back this year for a friendly salsa competition, were Jonathon Sawyer and the chefs of The Greenhouse Tavern.  I tried all of the entries last year, and preferred Jonathon's, and this year I reached the same conclusion.

His salsa had heirloom tomatoes (of course), shallots, radishes and fresh basil.  It was well balanced and delicious.  As were all of the other entries, some of which featured fresh sweet corn, some had melon,  and one had fish sauce as the 'secret' ingredient (the salsa was delicious, and the fish sauce not identifiable). One was a little sweet for my tastes, but it was still tasty.

Jonathon Sawyer & Greenhouse Tavern chefs at work on their salsas
I shot this before Jonathon slipped into his Food and Wine Best New Chef 2010 jacket. Once the tasting got going, the crowd was pretty thick with enthusiastic samplers.

Everyone was obviously having a good time, and it was a beautiful day to visit the farmers market, despite the fact there about 1,000 people also in same area of the park for a cross-country meet, which made for long waits getting in and out of the meadow. 

At this point in the season, you can't go wrong with any kind of fresh salsa made with tomatoes that actually have flavor.  So make salsa while the sun shines!

1 comment:

  1. It was a close race for me between Jonathon's and the one right next to his. I ended up voting for #4. I guess I was in the mood for spicy. I wonder if they share their salsa recipes.


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