Many home garden and Farmers Market enthusiasts will not even think about purchasing a tomato from the grocery store. Really, why would you? More often than not, the tomatoes are devoid of flavor and do not retain the firm but juicy texture and amazing aroma that come from sunshine on the vine-ripened tomato. This is largely due to the fact that tomatoes harvested for large commercial channels are often harvested green and also often refrigerated - a big, big no no for tomatoes because refrigeration destroys their flavor and texture.
Research recently published in the journal Science reports that that there is more involved in getting a tomato with amazing flavor than ideal harvest and handling conditions. Turns out, variety is also important. For heirloom tomato lovers this will come as no surprise. Tomato aficionados can talk your ear off about their favorite varieties, because, like all of the fruit we grow, each variety of tomato has its own unique flavor and texture profile.
Heirloom tomatoes are known for their superior flavor, but why? The recent research has shown that color has a lot to do with it. Most modern tomato varieties share a genetic trait that allows them to ripen to a uniform scarlet red, a color that a few generations of consumers were programmed to associate with ripe and delicious. A gene mutation that happened by chance many years ago conferred the red ripe tomato look and was embraced by tomato breeders far and wide. The gene mutation first turns the tomatoes a uniform pale green and then red. This ripening pattern was also embraced by growers because it made it makes it easy to see when the tomatoes are ripe for harvest.
However, it is just that uniform red ripening characteristic that has been found to leave even the most lovingly grown, harvested, and handled tomatoes coming up short when taste tested against their heirloom predecessors that commonly display hues of green, purple, pink, orange, or even white when ripe.
Frog Hollow Farm is excited to have carefully selected 8 varieties of heirloom tomatoes prized for their flavor. We can assure you that our growing, harvesting, and handling will allow these heirloom beauties (yes, we think green, pink, and purple hues are beautiful) to display all the nuances of juiciness, sweetness, and texture that tomatoes are meant to.