All Hail the Heirloom Tomato

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As much as I love traveling I’ve come to realize that will home will always be Toronto. And it’s not just because I have amazing neighbours who will do ridiculous things to welcome me home but because there’s so much to discover right here.

Today Joel and Dana from Well Preserved asked if I wanted to come out with them to Prince Edward County, a small agricultural region just 2 hours outside the city, for Vicki’s Veggies Heirloom Hurrah & Harvest Carnivale to benefit The Stop Community Food Centre.

If you think it is strange to drive 2 hours to taste tomatoes, then you’ve never had an heirloom tomato.

A tomato is not just a tomato.

You see we tend to think of tomatoes coming in just a few colours and a few sizes. But tomatoes weren’t always the uniform red and they didn’t all have the same grocery store taste.

Generations ago it was common to have different sizes, colours, flavours.

But somewhere with progress we lost all of that.

Fortunately people like Vicky have banded together to share seeds for conservation.

You can find Vicky at the farmer’s markets in the city and there are lines of people wanting to spend lots of money on her tomatoes.


heirloom tomatoes

But today entry was by donation only and people could come and taste so many varieties. I overheard one woman ask if the green tomatoes were under ripe or if they were supposed to be green.

Yes they were.

Have a look at this video about the heirloom tomato.

Join the Conversation

  1. Heirloom & import tomato varieties area big deal around here (Boulder, CO) these days. Usually they’re a little less “perfect” looking, but the taste is sublime.

    I have a friend who lives down in Prince Edward county, and there’s lots of interesting stuff there. Well worth driving around!

  2. I love tomatoes!! Any kind really. I would totally drive a couple of hours to go there.

  3. Carmen Allan-Petale says:

    Yet another wonderful video! I only heard about heirloom tomatoes the other day when we met two chefs while camping. I’m yet to try one but this post makes me want to go out and find some ASAP! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Heirloom tomatoes are the best. We grow four varieties in our little garden at home. It’s the only think I think I would miss if we traveled full time.

  5. Tamara (@Turtlestravel) says:

    As a tomato lover, my mouth was watering the whole post through! Everything looked delicious. My partner won’t touch tomatoes, but I’m convinced he just hasn’t had a good one. I agree with him that the mushy, tasteless grocery store variety can be pretty awful. These, on the other hand, are magic. There’s nothing like an heirloom tomato at its peak, grown with care and love.

  6. TammyOnTheMove says:

    Oh wow, I have never so seen tomatoes in so many different colours. They look gorgeous!

  7. Great video. I love tomatoes and i like eat when they are raw. have never seen tomatoes in different colours.

  8. Nice, gorgeous tomato pictures!

  9. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    I would definitely drive two hours for this.

  10. Brian Wallis says:

    Oh yes! I did have the chance to taste such tomatoes, taken straight from the stalk. And it was such an experience, the smell,the attention, the taste…

  11. John from Funded Holidays says:

    I’d wish to make real tomato soup of all these kinds… 🙂

  12. Mike | Earthdrifter says:

    Definitely worth the two-hour drive to learn so much about the tomato as it’s considered a super food. It’s great to be able to take advantage of such a priceless educational opportunity.

  13. Tomatoes are everywhere! It reminds me of spaghetti and bloody Mary juice.

  14. I love local festivals like this. Travel isn’t always about getting on a plane and going somewhere exotic, your own backyard can offer some memorable experiences too!

  15. Yuk! I hate tomatoes! But I admire the efforts you went to to taste these and I’m glad they were worth it!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      How can you hate tomatoes?? Just raw or also sauce and ketchup?

  16. Raymond Waruhari says:

    Great video. I didn’t know that tomatoes come in many shapes and colors.

  17. I know exactly what you’re talking about but with peppers. We just made a trip to Jarabacoa in the Dominican Republic where they grow peppers and oh man they tasted sooo goooood. I can only imagine the same with tomatoes. One day =)

  18. Love love LOVE heirloom tomatoes! And I’ve been following Well Preserved on FB for a while, I think from a recipe or something you shared once. They are far from my home, but they seem to be a great organization!

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