Early Girl

It's the peak of the season! Did you know there more than 600 heirloom varieties in existence? Each one is uniquely interesting and beautiful. I have been studying and tasting many different types of heirloom varieties, and some tomatoes I liked so much that I saved the seeds for my pop's garden next year. And just for fun, I thought I would take this opportunity to distinguish a couple of the more common ones featured at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza market.

Green Zebra
Green zebras are probably one of the most deceptive looking tomatoes. Because of their green exterior, I often think of very immature, acidic and hard fruit destined to be thrown in a batch of fried green tomatoes. Indeed, looks can be deceiving. Green zebras are sweet with strong zesty tomato flavors.

Red Zebra
Red zebras feature a sweet, fruity and lightly acidic in flavor that is similar to the green zebra. Because of their denser texture, both red and green zebras are excellent sliced in salads.

Black Brandywine
There are several diverse strains of brandywine tomatoes. Similar to the classic brandywine, black brandywines are large, meaty and intensely tomato flavored.

Pink Brandywine
Although pink brandywines typically have less depth of color when compared to red or purple brandywines, the flesh is actually sweeter than its red or purple cousins. The thin-skinned nature of this tomato variety makes it a great sliced in sandwiches and salads.
Yellow Brandywine

Yellow brandywines are even sweeter than its red, purple or pink cousins. With a naturally higher sugar content, yellow brandywines are milder in acidity, and have a slightly creamy texture.
Red Brandywine
Red brandywines have a robust and strong tomato flavor with a delightful acidity.
Cherokee Purple
Purple Cherokees are the variety for those seeing a sweet, supple flesh fruit with subtle tomato flavors. Its gorgeous deep purple and red colors are also a nice contrast from the your everyday tomato.

San Marzano
San Marzanos are plum tomatoes are native to Italy and are commonly stewed or canned. This variety has a meaty texture and sweet flesh.

Flamme are very juicy and sweet heirloom tomatoes that are indigenous to France. Because of their petite size and sweetness, they are excellent in salads.
The pineapple heirloom veriety is a rare beefsteak-style tomato that features sweet and mildly acidic flesh.

Lemon Boy
Lemon boys are big, bright and intensely yellow in color, with mildly sweet flesh and tangy tomato flavors.

Costaluto Genovese


Anonymous said...

Hello! I recently made my first trip to San Francisco and went to the market--Amazing!!!! I am trying to chronicle all of the food I tried, but I forgot to write down the name of the farm where I bought my lemon boy tomato!

Do you happen to know whose farm stand you took the above stunning photo of lemon boys at? I know the booth I went to was on the corner right after you pass the restaurant tents along the right side of the building.


Fresh Local and Best said...

Thank you for your comment! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the photos and that your visit to San Francisco was amazing. The farm stand that sells the Lemon Boys is Eatwell Farms: http://www.cuesa.org/markets/farmers/farm_25.php

I hope this helps, and that you continue to follow Fresh, Local and Best!



and this blog said...

ohhh love summer tomatoes! Black Brandywine are my favorite!!! =)

loyda said...

Loved loved loved this article! The colors were just wonderful!