Yellow Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes
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The Yellow Brandywine tomato is a large golden-yellow beefsteak type tomato that can weigh up to two pounds. Its juicy, apricot-colored flesh has a robust flavor that is both sweet and satisfyingly acidic, more so than other orange or yellow-colored tomatoes, though not as tart. The appearance of Yellow Brandywine tomatoes can change from one year to the next, with some fruits having smooth skin while others are so ridged or scalloped that they resemble a pumpkin. The tomato plant is an indeterminate, or vining, variety with potato-leaf foliage, characteristic of true Brandywine tomato cultivars, with the large fruit growing along sprawling vines with smooth-edged, dark green leaves.
Yellow Brandywine tomatoes are available from summer through early fall.
Yellow Brandywine tomatoes are botanically classified as Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Yellow Brandywine. Like all tomatoes, they are members of the nightshade or Solanaceae family, along with other food-producing plants such as eggplants, potatoes, and hot peppers. Yellow Brandywine is an heirloom cultivar, and by definition it is open-pollinated, as opposed to hybrid, so the seeds grow true to the parents. While all heirloom varieties are open-pollinated, not all open-pollinated varieties are heirloom varieties.
Yellow Brandywine tomatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin D, and potassium. They have the four major carotenoids, and supply the body with large amounts of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
Like all heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, the creamy texture and sumptuous flavor profile of Yellow Brandywine is best enjoyed uncooked. The Yellow Brandywine tomato’s warm color brings a bright splash to salads, sandwiches, and appetizers. The Yellow Brandywine can also be a wonderful addition on pizzas, burgers, or bruschetta, and it pairs well with fresh goat cheese, mozzarella, and basil. These delicate fruits should be stored in single layers so as not to crush them. To keep Yellow Brandywine tomatoes at their best, store them in a cool, well-ventilated space rather than the refrigerator, and keep them in crates or paper bags. Refrigeration should only be used to slow the process of decay once tomatoes are fully ripe.
Since 1991, Yellow Brandywine tomatoes have become a favorite among American heirloom varieties. In particular, the Platfoot strain of Yellow Brandywine, from Gary Platfoot of Ohio, is considered by many to be the best Yellow Brandywine tomato. The Platfoot strain produces smoother fruit with fewer blemishes, as well as higher yields of the beautiful golden-yellow tomatoes than the original strain from Charles Knoy of Indiana in 1991, while offering the same incredibly rich and delicious flavor.
The Yellow Brandywine tomato entered the commercial agricultural scene by way of Johnny’s Select Seeds after being sent to the company by author and tomato expert Craig LeHoullier. In 1991, LeHoullier obtained a specimen from Barbara Lund of Ohio, who had reportedly received the cultivar from Charles Knoy of Indiana. Today, Yellow Brandywine tomatoes are one of the most popular and well known heirloom tomato varieties on the market. Yellow Brandywine needs a long season and benefits from warm nights.
Recipes that include Yellow Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
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