Heirloom tomatoes are SO HOT RIGHT NOW, guys. I mean, when was the last time you saw a recipe that included tomatoes that called for “regular, boring, store-bought tomatoes?” Right? But what the heck IS an heirloom tomato, anyway? What makes them so special? Doesn’t it just mean “tomatoes in a bunch of fun colors and shapes?”
Here’s the thing. Some heirloom tomatoes are shit. They don’t taste great, have horrible disease resistance, and don’t produce well. Some taste great and still have the other problems. Some are totally amazing tasting AND do great in the garden. But there is no rule that all heirloom tomatoes taste super amazing. Some aren’t wonderful, and for some it depends on your tastes.
Plus, heirloom tomatoes come in all different kinds. All colors (red! pink! purple! green! black! orange! yellow! white!). All sizes (cherry! regular! grape!). All sorts (beefsteak! paste! slicer!). BUT SO DO HYBRID TOMATOES.
And some hybrid tomatoes are great! And disease resistant! And produce well! I always grow Better Boy in my garden. If you want early tomatoes from Early Girl, you’re growing a hybrid. You can collect seeds from an heirloom and get the same plant the next year, so that’s good. With hybrids, no guarantees what you’ll get. But hybrid tomatoes aren’t evil or automatically inferior. It just means that some farmer somewhere carefully selected the best tomatoes carrying certain traits for several seasons, hand-pollinating until he/she got the desired result. There’s no evil genetic modification or anything. Hybrid tomatoes are, in many cases, damn good tomatoes! Just like heirlooms!
I am sick of recipe writers trying to put on their fancy pants by calling for “heirloom tomatoes,” often with no other specifics as to the actual KIND of tomato needed.
Let’s stop heirloom-based discrimination. When including tomatoes in a recipe, specify the type of tomato to be used by the trait that is most desirable (maybe this recipe really needs cherry tomatoes, or green tomatoes, or a paste tomato). Don’t just use the catchall of “heirloom tomato.” Would you do the same for hybrid tomato? No. Don’t tomato hate. Don’t discriminate. ARE YOU WITH ME??
(Also, happy Friday the 13th ) …(I never know how to end parenthesis when I use a face at the end.)