The Results Are In!
Over 120 tomato aficionados showed up Sunday to watch a Spicy Gazpacho cooking demo by Master Chef Eric Hollis, taste 22 tomato varieties from the Cornerstone’s Kitchen Garden and 22 varieties from contestants’ home gardens, and vote for their favorites.
Participants’ home-growns could compete in one or all three of the categories: “Best Overall”,
“Best Taste”, and “Best Shape”. The variety of shapes, sizes, and colors was astonishing
and the taste of every single entrant put supermarket tomatoes to shame.
It was a hotly debated contest and the participants were incredibly vocal about their choices (these are tomatoes we’re talking about, after all). After all was said (and even more was said) and done, 72 final ballots were submitted and counted amidst hushed, anticipatory silence.
The Winners of The 2011 Great Tomato Tasting are:
- Jaune Flammee’ – grown in Sonoma by Gail Wolf. We loved its rich flavor but this variety won for its deep yellow color both inside and out. The flesh of this tomato has the consistency and texture of a ripe persimmon and is almost translucent in color: both beautiful and delicious.
Grapette – grown in the East Bay by Cheryl Reddick. This oblong, red cherry varietal packed a ton of flavor – sweet to smoky with a clean finish. The perfect salad tomato.
– Howard German, grown by Steve from the city of Sonoma. This yellow Roma was the size and shape of a large bell pepper, lobed and voluptuous. But surprise!: all that meaty goodness enclosed just five seeds in the entire fruit. Wondrously bizarre and beautiful.
Congratulations to this year’s winners, who will receive a garden full of tomato plants in the spring,
compliments of Tomatomania!, the world’s largest (and most fun) heirloom tomato seedling sale.
Tomatomania! will pull into Cornerstone for next year’s tomato seedling buying frenzy
on April 14 and 15, 2012.
The judging continued with folks chewing, slurping, and swallowing
tastes of 22 different tomato varieties from the Cornerstone Kitchen Garden.
The favorites were:
#1 – Riesenstraube
#2 – Golden Rave Hybrid
#3 – Lemon Drop
#4 – Arkansas Traveler
#5 – TC Jones
#6 – Ananas Noir
#7 – Babywine
#8 – Pink Cadillac
#9 – Green Grape
#10 – Lynn’s Mahogany
All of Cornerstone’s tomato seedlings were donated by Tomatomania!,
so take notes for your tomato seedling shopping trip next spring – April 14 and 15, 2012 at Cornerstone.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s contest!
8 large ripe tomatoes quartered
1 English cucumber peeled and roughly chopped
1 Small red onion sliced
1 Red pepper chopped
1-4 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
½ cup Red wine vinegar
1TBL Black pepper
4 Cloves garlic, chopped
4 Shots Tabasco
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate overnight. Run through food mill, and then place in blender briefly. Do not over blend. Garnish with tomatoes ¼” dice, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, cilantro, Italian parsley. – fold in garnish and top with crème fraiche & julienne basil.
Chef Eric Hollis – Alsina Station Grill