Van Chaplin; Styling Mindi Shapiro Levine
The Facts of Flavor
George Martin demystifies the tomato’s flavor traits.
- Dark-skinned tomatoes deliver the most acidic flavor.
- Yellow and orange selections are the sweetest.
- Red ones find balance between the two, with moderate acidity and sweetness.
Ripen Them Right
Will Moore suggests the best way to harvest your tomatoes for optimum flavor.
- Harvest a day or two before the tomato is fully ripe.
- Pick the fruit early in the morning before it heats up for the day.
- Let fruit sit on the kitchen counter until ready to eat. Do not refrigerate your tomatoes.
Secrets to Success
Here are Rod Palmer’s thoughts on growing the perfect heirloom tomato.
- Plant seedlings deep so the first set or two of branches is below the soil line.
- Put a handful of lime in the hole when planting. Heirlooms require a good dose of calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Pelletized lime converts to calcium as summer wears on.
- Tomatoes are loaded with vitamin C and phytochemicals that promote good health.
- Growing your own tomatoes and other produce lowers the risk of food-borne illnesses occasionally found in mass-produced fruits and vegetables.
"Taste of Summer" is from the August 2008 issue of Southern Living.