Gearing up to photograph all of recipes and pin-up shots for Tomato Week meant buying lots and lots of tomatoes at the Union Square Greenmarket. Really. It took four of us (and a taxi cab) to get them all safely back to our office, a mere 10 blocks away.
But of all those that made it back, the one I admired most—more than the honkin' hulks or the haughty cherries with their tufts of vine-hair—was the least "TOMATOOOOO!" of the group. If I had judged by appearance only, I might not have even known that it was a tomato at all.
It was the size, and feel, of a baby's fist, so soft and fuzzy that I wanted to hold hands with it all the way home from the market. Its color was a muted yellow and its skin matte. I pointed out its existence to every person who came to look.
My tomato—I consider him my own—made a subtle, but impactful, appearance in our tomato bonanza shot. Look at him there, all cuddled up against the punnet of the fat orange Sun Golds trying to steal the show:
It wasn't until later, when I spoke to Cecilia Estreich of Baldor Food, that I realized I wasn't the only fan.
When I asked her about the produce she was particularly excited about this season, she told me about a variety of fuzzy-on-the-outside heirloom tomatoes that Baldor sources from Pennsylvania farmers—and they're called Garden Peach Tomatoes. (As my boyfriend pointed out, Apricot Tomato, or even Pluot Tomato, might be a more fitting name. But peach it is.)
When I tracked them down again, at the Norwich Meadows Farms stand on a Saturday in Union Square, farmer Zaid Kurdieh told me that, of all the tomatoes he sells, Garden Peaches are one of his favorites, too: Sweet but vegetal, without any lingering sourness; the slightest bit squishy when ripe.
So what if these tomatoes fancy themselves peaches? They're still tomatoes on the inside:
And, we certainly can't forget: Tomatoes are fruits anyway. (What? You thought we could get halfway through Tomato Week without mentioning that?)
What's your favorite heirloom variety? Tell us in the comments below!