Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ugly Tomatoes

I'm always on the lookout for unusual produce and today I ran across this beast at the farmers market. I was told it was called a Traveling Tomato. A little sleuthing (thanks to Tatiana's TOMATObase) led me to the German name Reisetomate ("Traveling Tomato").

And at the primary supplier of seeds for my garden, Baker Creek Seeds,, I read:
The most novel tomato we have seen, this tomato is like a big bunch of cherry tomatoes all fused together: an amazing trait that had everyone here asking questions about the alien-looking, bumpy tomatoes. Also called “Traveler tomato” (“reise” is German for “travel” or “journey”) for the ability to tear it apart a piece at a time, with no need for a knife. This type of tomato traces its roots to Central America where the native people would carry traveler tomatoes on trips, to eat as they walked. Bright red tomatoes taste--well, rather sour, strong and acid. The perfect tomato for those who love raw lemons, but who cares? They are still far-out and groovy.

And for the acid test (pun intended): it has good tomato flavor and thick skin with disappointingly soft flesh. Definitely high in acid, but all good tomatoes are so blessed in my humble opinion, but not what I would call lemon-like. As Chris said, "I wouldn't kick this tomato out of bed."

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