Thursday, April 14, 2011

black krim? brandywine? cherokee purple?

I realize it is only April but you can't blame me for fantasizing.  As soon as the sun warms my face for the first time on a balmy spring day I start to think about tomatoes.  Sure, the long harsh winter has brought plenty of Mexican tomatoes to our city, but those little bastards are waxy and grainy - a far cry from a summer tomato.  Once the heirloom varieties begin to ripen (unfortunately not until the end of July and beyond) I keep my eye on menus to find them showcased in the simplest forms.  A really good heirloom tomato does not need a great deal of pomp and circumstance; sliced and served with some local cheese and a light vinaigrette is just about perfect.

Aaron Linley at Bijou always seems to get his hands on some of the most delectable and varied heirlooms this countryside has to offer.  Last summer they were served with C'est Bon Goat's cheese and an adobo vinaigrette with a few renegade pieces of arugula scattered about for that pepper note, simple perfection.

I wait, somewhat patiently, for Savour Stratford when artisans bring their gorgeous tomatoes to our fair city, then buy as many as will last.

Nature gives us so many beautiful flavours when we accept her timing and so, though I will eat tomatoes in the winter time, nobody says I have to like it!


  1. I picked up some Stupice tomatoes last year, a hearty tomato that's earlier than most. They're a Czech heirloom variety that might be available at Klomp's. I got mine at Van Horik's in London. While they weren't ready until the end of June, the Stupice tomatoes were ripe a few weeks earlier than the other varieties I planted. I liked the flavour of the Stupice tomatoes better than the heirloom varieties that were showcased at McCulley's SPLAT event.

  2. I'll keep my eyes open for them. Thanks for the tip!