But, in 1883 a New York produce supplier challenged the fact that tomatoes were being called a vegetable. He was just beginning to import produce from Florida and there was a Tariff on vegetables but not fruit. The producer lost the case because the "general meaning" and use of the tomato was as a vegetable. But this post is on the merits of the current product and not the Supreme Court. Today's tomatoes versus the heirloom varieties is the issue at hand.
The most popular tomatoes are either bought at the super market, farmer's market, or grown at home. But, the fresh tomato season is short, so the canned varieties are substituted for fresh ones. And, over time, we have become accustomed to the taste of the current collection of tomatoes and believe that they are typical of all tomatoes. But nothing could be further from the truth! It is unfortunate that we have not all taken the time to look at an incredible alternative; the heirloom tomato. My first taste of an heirloom, (which is based on a variety and seed that is at least 50 years old) was a bit unusual. The taste was unfamiliar and it seemed really strong as they are more acidic. But, the flesh is softer and there is more juice and it makes a perfect salad or BLT! I was completely sold and decided to try growing some heirloom varieties.
But reality quickly set in as I encountered problems with producing the old-timers. I had more tomato pests, wilt, and they didn't last as long after picking. And the reason was clear; they were not bred to be bullet-proof like the mundane varieties that I was familiar with. The tomatoes today are designed to be shipped for miles, not bruise, last longer, be available year-round, be disease and pest resistant, and bland!
So, in my humble opinion it is worth investigating these tomatoes that have been around successfully for years and really are better tasting. There are some out standing candidates here. Bon appetite!