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This item was last sold on : 05/10/23
Beefsteak tomatoes, aptly named for their large size and meaty texture, have a classic tomato flavor, however, depending upon the variety, they can also be sweet to the taste. They are heavy, reaching weights as high as 4 pounds, and they range in color from pink, to vibrant red, to orange. Most are smooth in shape, although there are a few ribbed varieties, such as red ponderosa and coustralee. When growing tomatoes, there are two main distinctions in the plant itself: determinate v. indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes bloom and set fruit all at once and then decline. Their blossoms grow at the ends of shoots, thus stopping growth and determining their length. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow and to produce tomatoes throughout the summer because the flowers grow along the vines rather than at the ends.
Beefsteak tomatoes are available year-round with a peak season in the summer months.
Botanically, the tomato is a fruit, but in 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the tomato was legally a vegetable because of the way it was commonly used; tomatoes are among the most common plants grown in home gardens. The botanical classification of the tomato has had an interesting history, and debate over the scientific name continues today. The tomato was first placed in the genus Solanum, and identified as Solanum lycopersicum under the methodology of Carl Linnaeus, who developed the binomial system of naming plants and outlined it in his 1753 publication, “Species Plantarum.” This designation was then changed to Lycopersicon esculentum, the term Lycopersicon deriving from the Greek word meaning “wolf peach,” and esculentum simply meaning edible. However, current phylogenetic methods have shown the tomato to be situated firmly within the genus Solanum, and after years of preference for the name Lycopersicon esculentum, strong molecular DNA evidence is promoting the return to Linnaeus' original classification, Solanum lycopersicum.
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