Heritage to Canned Tomatoes

Hybrid, heritage, canned tomatoes

Large, bountiful hybrid tomatoes on the left; small tasty heritage tomatoes on the right and canned tomatoes in the middle. They all have a place in one’s diet.

I haven’t blogged for a bit. What can I say; I’ve been busy. That, in fact, is the bases for this blog. I once wrote a blog entitled “Why I Love Processed Foods.” At the time I was in the middle of a northern Minnesota winter. Since I had not stocked up on venison jerky to carry my family through the season, I was glad to have non-local foods with extended shelf lives.

It is now summer in the Chicago area and I’m writing from the opposite situation. My vegetable garden has been producing fresh garlic, eggplant, green peppers, onions (bugs got the broccoli) and tomatoes…lots of tomatoes. We have been eating hybrid cherry, Big Boy and/or Early Girl varieties for two months with surplus to feed retired and unemployed friends and neighbors and, well anyone that shows the slightest inclination to accept the big juicy veggies being forced upon them.

I experimented this spring and also planted an expensive little heritage plant. It finally just delivered three, small, blemished but noticeably delicious tomatoes. As my husband said, “The ugly ones taste the best.” So, are heritage better than hybrid tomatoes? Are fresh tomatoes better than canned versions?

Yes and no. Yes…little can compare to the taste of sliced fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil smothered in balsamic vinegar (a favorite “pig out” food of mine). And no…my lack of kitchen time means canned diced tomatoes and sauces have been the cornerstone of many meals this summer. A fast meal of freshly sliced and battered eggplant, pressed garlic, mozzarella all smothered in [canned] Ragu tomato sauce…wonderful. Fresh green peppers stuffed with grains and fresh vegetables and Del Monte’ canned diced tomatoes and chilies…quick, healthy and tasty. The small quantity of heritage tomatoes feeds one’s “inner gourmet.” Fresh hybrid tomatoes feed the neighborhood. Canned vegetables feed the harried cook and the masses, all year long.

— Claudia Dziuk O’Donnell, Co-owner, Global Food Forums, Inc.

Posted on:August 21, 2012

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