Jersey Tomato Time

Posted 8/22/06
by Jane Kashlak

It's now or never if you're looking for that perfect Jersey tomato.

Every restaurant in Cape May is serving some version of the classic tomato mozzarella salad. Farmers' markets and produce stands are hawking piles of the red globes.

And, in our garden, the tomatoes are toppling over in their cages and acting like they own the place.

How much do we love tomatoes? Let us count the varieties.

There are the Brandywine's, the big big red tomatoes that define the genre.

There are the Fourth of July's - little golf ball size tomatoes that never fail to produce at least one red fruit by Independence Day.

There are big luscious Cherokee Purples, a deep, dark old fashioned take on the red tomato.

Another of our favorites, the small Garden Peach, has soft fuzzy skin and a delicate taste.

And this year, there were some new varieties:

Early Girls turned out to be a real winner - medium sized red tomatoes with a tough disposition.

Mr. Stripey's and Rainbow - both a colorful mix of yellow and orange - are fantastic to look at and nice and meaty. Great for freezing for a mid winter pizza.

Yellow Jubilees, a mellow low acid variety that are actually orange, easily could find their way back into our garden again.

Red Calabashes - smaller than the Fourth of July's - have that quintessential tomato flavor. It's no wonder. These flattish little fruits were among the first tomatoes brought into the country from Mexico.

They have a very thin skin but we'd plant them again in a heartbeat.

If you're thinking that it sounds like we've never met a tomato we didn't like, you would be right.

As long as it's grown in our garden.

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