This is livin', baby

Is there a word for experiencing sensual delight through food, with a dash of self-righteousness thrown in? If so, then I am having it in spades: the crop is finally in full, delicious production, and I am feeling thoroughly justified about growing organic heirloom tomatoes. You haven't lived till you pick your own tomatoes and eat them sun-warmed. They have not lost their flavor due to refrigeration (if you don't already know this, then don't do it), and they are literally at the peak of perfection -- if they had travelled anywhere they'd be V8 juice.

We have some tasting notes below. However, like a proud parent, first I want to show off their school picture. In this picture, starting from top left in the large container are: Paul Robeson, White, Costoluto Genovese, Italian Heirloom, another Paul R., Pineapple, Amana Orange, Gold Medal, and Brandywine Pink. In the small basket are: Blondkopfchen, Red Fig, and peppers -- Fish, Black Hungarians, Cyklon, and an Ancho.

Selected Tasting Notes
  • The black tomatoes continue to astound with their deep, slightly smoky flavor. We have been rocking the Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple, but sold all of our Black Krim before we snagged one for ourselves.
  • Gold Medal is a knockout: meaty (i.e., few seeds), low acid, slightly sweet, and a visual treat decked out in its yellow and red color combo.
  • Amana Orange split our ticket: Kelley doesn't think the flavor is very interesting, but I find it is a gentle, lower-acid variety that is excellent in sandwiches.
  • White has a lovely, subtle, almost fragrant flavor.
  • All of the cherry tomatoes are scrumptious, but in their own way: Blondkopfchen is juicy and tangy, Red Fig is milder and sweeter, and Black Cherry is complex and well-balanced.
  • Costoluto Genovese is classic. It has a firm, full, tomato taste with a hint of fragrant spice, maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. 
    Brandywine Pink was a wonderful surprise after a childhood of grocery store versions. This one has a rich, bright taste, and the pinkiness glows on the plate.
As you know, this was an uncharacteristically cool California summer. We are getting a very generous crop now, but many of the vines should have been fruiting in early July; we did not get our first full-sugared tomatoes till almost August. However, we still learned a lot, so next post will contain Growing Notes. I promise not to wait another 3 months...