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Vintage Wine Heirloom Tomatoes
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Vintage Wine tomatoes are quite large, each fruit averaging just over one pound, and they have an attractive pastel pink coloration with golden-green stripes. Their skin is quite thin, and their squat round shape has an occasional rib that deepens towards the stem-end. The fleshy interior is dense with narrow seed pockets and few seeds, and it offers a pronounced, meaty, sweet flavor with a particular tanginess. The indeterminate, or vining plants produce abundant crops and can average six feet in height with potato-leaved foliage, leaves that lack the lobes or notches seen on regular leaf tomatoes.
Vintage Wine tomatoes are available in the summer and fall.
The Vintage Wine tomato is a rare heirloom variety of Solanum lycopersicum, and is a member of the nightshade family alongside the potato and eggplant. Like all heirlooms, Vintage Wine is an open-pollinated cultivar and its saved seed will grow true to type. Vintage Wine tomatoes reportedly hold their quality well off the vine, better than other heirloom varieties.
Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid, and they are also a great source of fiber, carbohydrate, potassium and iron. They contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including, of course, lycopene. Lycopene is the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their rich red color, and it has been linked with cancer prevention in several studies. Tomatoes account for eighty percent of lycopene consumption.
The elegant, sweet and mild flavor of Vintage Wine tomatoes compliments most dishes. Enjoy ripe tomatoes by eating them fresh in salads and sandwiches, or try grilling and layering atop burgers, or stuffing with cheese and herbs then roasting them. Tomatoes are especially delicious when paired with Italian flavors like oregano, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and fresh mozzarella cheese, but can also be enjoyed alongside parmesan cheese, bacon, mushrooms, avocado, crusty breads, strawberries, chickpeas, eggs, fennel, parsley, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Store tomatoes away from direct sunlight at room temperature until fully ripe, after which refrigeration can prevent further ripening and slow the process of decay.
Although they were grown throughout pre-Civil War America, and several Native American tribes and the Creoles of New Orleans had already had a long history of their use, tomatoes were actually considered to be poisonous by most Americans until the mid 1800’s. This perhaps was because tomatoes are in the Solanaceae family alongside deadly nightshades and other poisonous plants. Today tomatoes are the most widely grown fruit in home gardens, and they are second only to potatoes in consumption of fruits and vegetables in the United States.
The Vintage Wine tomato was derived from one of the lines of Tom Wagner's Brandy Stripe tomato, and was renamed and introduced in 1998 by K. Sahin, Zaden B.V. of the Netherlands. Tomatoes are not hardy and they need warm weather in order to grow, hence it is important that they be planted after the final frost. Vintage Wine tomatoes have been said to do well in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-11.
Recipes that include Vintage Wine Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cup of Jo||Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart|
|My Fussy Eater||Hasselback Caprese Salad|
|A Beautiful Plate||Creamy Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Gazpacho|
|Chef Savvy||Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Tart|
|Delish||Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad|