Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes
Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
Cherokee Purple tomatoes get their name from their skin, which boasts rich, dusty shades of purple and pink with shoulders that are often green. Its flesh is a deep rose with wet and red, sometimes green, pockets of seed. The Cherokee Purple tomato’s flavor consists of a rich combination of mostly sweet, and some acidic, notes. Despite the relative sweetness of the tomato its flavor is in no way saccharine. Rather, it is balanced, complex, and slightly smoky.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are available in summer and fall.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are botanically classified as Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Cherokee purple, and are a member of the nightshade or Solanaceae family, along with more than 2,500 species such as tobacco and peppers. The Cherokee Purple tomato belongs to the “beefsteak” group of tomatoes, meaning that it is very juicy and large with a robust flavor that lends itself best to fresh eating.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes contain an abundance of nutritional benefits. They are filled with vitamin C, which exists in large quantities in the pulp around the seeds, K, which helps keep bones strong, and A, an antioxidant that which helps maintain the immune system and good eye health.
As an heirloom beefsteak, the Cherokee Purple tomato is best enjoyed fresh without cooking. It makes a divine sandwich, raising the already delectable BLT to astronomical heights. It also shines in a salad or simple, yet mouth-watering, spread of sliced tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella. The sliced Cherokee Purple tomato is also delicious either plain or sprinkled with salt. If a hot dish is preferred, Cherokee Purple tomatoes can be diced and briefly sautéed with pasta. These heirlooms can also be grilled, used as a pizza topping, or added raw to a halved and toasted baguette for bruschetta. It’s also amazing on a burger. The Cherokee Purple tomato entered the gourmand’s lexicon in the 1990’s after a Tennessean, John Green, mailed seeds of the delicious fruit to Craig LeHoullier of the Seed Saver’s Exchange. Green wrote that he had received the seeds from a woman who had in turn been given the seeds by neighbors. These neighbors had grown the tomatoes for a century and originally procured them from Cherokee growers.
Like potatoes, tomatoes originally evolved in the Andes. They have been cultivated since 700 AD, originally by the Aztecs and Incas. Contrary to its current worldwide popularity, tomatoes were not consumed by colonists and Americans of European descent until the early 1800’s. Whites in North America considered the fruits to be poisonous and grew it only for its ornamental qualities. It wasn’t until Thomas Jefferson began growing the tomato as a crop at Monticello that the tomato’s edibility was accepted by white America.
Recipes that include Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.