It feels like summer outside and that means it’s tomato season. Perfect in sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and more, the varieties, tastes, and flavors seem endless. Read on for tomato tips and some highlights from our own local producers!
All About Tomatoes
According to the USDA, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. Here are some fascinating fast facts about these delicious fruit (yep, they’re fruit!):
- Average tomato consumption is about 23 pounds per year per person (mostly via sauces and catsup).
- Every state in the US grows tomatoes.
- The largest tomato to date (grown in Oklahoma) weighed over seven pounds and topped enough sandwiches for 21 people.
- The tallest tomato plant, grown in Lancashire, England reached 65 feet high.
- More via StrongerTogether.com
Our most important tip is that tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator! Cold temperatures change the texture and flavor of tomatoes (ever taste a grainy one?). Since they go with almost any meal, we don’t think you’ll have any difficulty using up your delicious bounty quickly.
We carry a variety of tomatoes throughout the summer at the St. Peter Food Co-op. You might not find all of the types mentioned below each time you visit, but odds are they will all pass through our shelves at some point! If you’re looking for a particular variety, please give us a call at (507) 934-4880 and we can let you know what’s in stock.
From Living Land Farm – St. Peter, MN
- Toronjina – Yellow cherry with sweet and tangy flavor.
- Esterina – Orange cherry that is very sweet, but well balanced with a tangy kick.
- Sakura – Red cherry that is tender and sweet.
- Caimon – Slicer tomato with a fine texture and bursting with sweet, juicy flavor.
Paulson Farm – Eagle Lake, MN
Paulson Farm supplies us with a lot of different heirloom tomatoes throughout the summer. Heirloom refers to varieties of tomatoes whose seeds have been passed down for generations. According to Wikipedia, they are grown for a variety of reasons, including for their unique taste, historical interest, access to wider varieties, and by people who wish to save seeds from year to year.
- Goliath Sunny – Gorgeous yellow gold with fruit that’s juicy, mild, and sweet.
- Beauty King – Red and yellow bi-colored; very sweet.
- Anna Russian – Pinkish red heart-shaped fruit with outstanding flavor.
- Indigo Blue – Beefsteak variety with a rich blue top that fades to deep pink flesh with an excellent flavor.
- Large Barred Boar – Pinkish brown with metallic green stripes.
- Solar Flare – Red fruit Beefsteak with gold stripes.
- Aunt Ruby’s German Green – Globe-shaped green beefsteak with green flesh flushed with pink.
- Purple Russian – Meaty and plum-shaped.
- Orange Jazz – Orange Beefsteak brushed with yellow stripes.
- German Head – Dark pink Beefsteak variety.
- Bull’s Heart – Huge pink fruit shaped like an ox heart.
- Caspian Pink – World’s finest flavored tomato.
Little Big Sky Farm – Henderson, MN
- Sungold – Cherry tomatoes with a distinctive, tangy-sweet fruit.
East Henderson Farm – Henderson, MN
- Various slicer tomato varieties – perfect on those summer sandwiches!
The Co-op will also get yellow and red vine tomatoes from Living Water Gardens in Wells, MN. Who knows what other varieties might show up!