A few words about the tomato varieties I planted this summer and their flavor. I have spoken to several friends recently about the lack of the “Oh wow!” experience with this year’s tomato crop. I’ve wondered if it is because we are older, or maybe fatigued from growing them ourselves, the weather, or maybe a combination of factors. I will say that I did have the “Oh wow!” experience yesterday morning when I bit into my first Italian Sweet. They have been a pain to grow successfully with lots of blossom drop and blossom end rot problems, but the flavor is amazing. They seem to hit every taste sensor in the mouth and you end up with a full mouth tingle. I tasted it beside another elusive, the Old German. It looked almost like a pineapple tomato. I would call its taste creamy; Hunter called it flat. It was a real treat to have them side by side for breakfast.
Just as tasty are the Boxcar Willies and the German Johnsons. The blue ribbon Boxcar Willie was shared with our friend Mary Beth last Thursday evening. I brought it out to the picnic table still wearing its Ag Fair Blue Ribbon. I had sliced bread from the Black Dog, and crushed garlic from the garden and a little Salt-by-the Sea on hand. There was a short reading from the Smith and Hawkins chapter on Boxcar Willies in the Heirloom Tomato book … and then we sliced. It was semi-liturgical and a very satisfying way to honor the 1 pound 4 oz. prize winner.