Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, and the heirloom varieties are some of the most beautiful and strange looking! They also have the best flavor and are often enjoyed raw drizzled with olive oil and salt, some people just eat them like an apple! Tomatoes are best ripe and in season and our heirloom tomatoes are not exception. Cook them gently or serve raw for best flavor. We grow a huge variety of tomatoes on the farm including heirloom varieties, beefsteak slicers and:
Cherokee Purple: Medium sized deep red-purple fruits, sweet and slightly tart. This variety was originally from Tennessee and is said to have originated from the Cherokee Indians.
Brandywine: Large rich pink fruits. Amazingly rich flavor that is hard to surpass, widely accepted as the best tasting tomato available. This variety was found on a farm in southern Pennsylvania where it had been kept in the family for over 100 years. The seed was introduced commercially in 1979 by the now famed (in tomato grower circles) Ben Quisenburry.
Rose: Very similar to Brandywine (and possibly related) except the shoulders are usually more ribbed. This variety arrived from France where it is regarded as the “best tasting tomato”. We have a hard time deciding which is our favorite.
Kellogg’s Breakfast: These large orange beefsteak fruit can weigh 1-2 pounds and they are delicious, with a great acid/sweetness balance. The variety originates in West Virginia and the seed was made commercially available by Darrell Kellogg of Redford, Michigan (hence the variety name).
Great White: Big yellow fruits with a mild creamy low-acid taste.
Striped German: We won a Giant Tomato contest with this variety the year our farm began. But the fruits are so much more that large. Orange, yellow and red starburst color that looks reminiscent of a tie-died tee-shirt from the sixties greets you when they are cut into – and the flavor is very sweet and juicy.
Amish Paste: A very large Oxheart variety (oxheart varieties are in the Roma family but are larger and heart shaped). Most Roma and paste tomatoes have very little flavor but are low on liquid so are good for cooking. This Amish heirloom variety is an exception it has a very rich sweet flavor and is superb for fresh use, while still maintaining a low liquid content making it great for cooking as well.
Speckled Roman: Gorgeous 5 inch long red paste tomato with yellow and orange stripes. Delicious flavor make it great for fresh use, meaty flesh with few seeds make it ideal for cooking!
Japanese Black Trifele: Burgundy colored, pear shaped fruit with excellent rich flavor.
Red Pear Piriform: Italian heirloom tomato, from the Liguria, Piedmonte, and Abruzzo regions of Italy.
Store tomatoes at room temperature for best flavor, and use within a few days. To freeze tomatoes for later use, cut an X on the bottom and dunk in boiling water for about a minute, the skin will slip right off. Freeze whole or diced.
Rinse in cool water and remove core. Serve with slices of fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil for a traditional caprese salad. Eat thick slices sprinkled with sea salt for a snack, add to sandwiches, use for salsa, or just eat like an apple. Cook lightly to add to pastas and gratins.