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Pink Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes
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The Pink Brandywine tomato is a classic beefsteak slicing tomato that is legendary for its delicious, rich, old-fashioned tomato taste, and has often been christened as “the best-tasting tomato in the world.” The oblate shaped fruit has ribbed shoulders and is dark-pink in color, though even when fully ripe it can have green shoulders near the stem. Its pinkish flesh is meaty and extremely flavorful. The indeterminate, or vining tomato plant grows upright to an average of three to nine feet tall, and it is distinguished from other tomato cultivars by its dark green potato-leaved foliage, which is smooth and oval with a pointy tip, as compared to the serrated edges of a regular-leaf cultivar. The large plants of the Pink Brandywine tomato require staking for support as they can bear fruit up to two pounds, with one or two fruit per cluster. It is among the slowest maturing varieties of tomatoes as its production is light during mid-season and increases later into the summer. The Pink Brandywine is sought after for it's flavor and texture as opposed to durability, as its thin skin is prone to cracking and cannot withstand long-distance shipping.
Pink Brandywine tomatoes are available in late summer.
Tomatoes are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, and are botanically referred to as Solanum lycopersicum. Brandywine tomatoes come in many delectable and colorful varieties in addition to the Pink Brandywine, including red, yellow, and black varieties. However, there are several tomatoes that get labeled as Brandywine that are not in fact related, and because of the many misidentified varieties, this pink-fruited, potato-leaved Brandywine tomato may be more specifically referred to as Pink Brandywine "Sudduth's Strain.” Sudduth’s Strain is known as the original Pink Brandywine strain, and many claim that it is the best American heirloom variety on the market.
Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and B vitamins, which are important for heart health. However, tomatoes are most widely known for their concentration of a powerful carotenoid called lycopene. This phytonutrient, which is responsible for the red pigmentation of tomatoes, has been studied for its role in fighting various cancers, as well as its ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Pink Brandywine tomatoes have a rich, slightly sweet yet spicy old-fashioned tomato flavor that has been prized for decades. They are delicious eaten raw, but they can also be sautéed, grilled, stewed, and used in numerous dishes. Tomatoes pair particularly well with savory herbs and soft cheeses. As a beefsteak type tomato, Pink Brandywine is great for slicing. Use either a serrated knife or very sharp non-serrated knife, prick the skin to get a slice going, and cut lengthwise from the stem to blossom end to retain more juice in each slice. Store your tomatoes at room temperature until fully ripe, after which refrigeration can slow the process of decay.
Brandywine tomatoes are known as one of the most popular heirloom cultivars in home gardens throughout the United States. The Pink Brandywine is credited with bringing heirloom tomatoes back into popularity after the rise of hybridization in the twentieth century, and since their reintroduction to the American market in the 1980s, there have been many Brandywine sub-strains created through selection and cross-breeding.
Though the Brandywine’s history is not altogether clear, legend has it that the Pink Brandywine tomato came to the attention of today’s gardeners in 1982 when the Seed Savers Exchange received Pink Brandywine tomato seeds from Ohio gardener, Ben Quisenberry. Quisenberry allegedly received the seeds from Dorris Sudduth Hill of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, whose family had been growing Brandywine tomatoes and saving its seeds since the 1800s. It is not known whether the family originally saved the seed from a commercial variety, or if it was brought to the United States from overseas. Nonetheless, the Pink Brandywine tomato is considered an American heirloom. It is often also said that Brandywine is of Amish origin, perhaps because there is a Brandywine River in the state of Pennsylvania where the Amish population is high, however there is no evidence to absolutely confirm this claim. The pink Brandywine tomato has very thin skin, disqualifying it as a good shipping tomato, and hence it is not often seen in markets far from where it was grown. The timing for sowing and planting outside is key to successfully grow tomatoes because they are not at all hardy and cannot tolerate any frost.
Recipes that include Pink Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cafe Johnsonia||Ratatouille Pizza (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)|
|Chef Savvy||Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Tart|
|Give Recipe||Tomato Fritters|
|Seasonal Wisdom||Classic Heirloom Tomato Sauce|