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Plum Tomatoes


porcupine
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There were red and yellow at Dupont this morning. Don't know what the story will be next week though.

If they were also white, gray, or blue ...

even the mic would be built in for yoooou

Runs on batteries or plugs right in,

You can even take take-n-tape out for a spin.

Take-n-Tape, Take-n-Tape...

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I saw plum tomatoes on Thursday. But I went to both Penn Quarter and the White House Markets. And I didn't buy them so I can't remember which stand it was. They looked good and smelled like tomatoes.

This past Sunday was most likely the last for much in the way of quantity/quality, but you never know. The growing season started late this year and for many of the crops planted before the rains, it will end just a little bit early. Plants flattened under wet siege which only furthered damage caused by fungus and stink bug. My advice would be to visit any week-day market you can where there usually are reliable tomato-growers such as Garners (HHS on Wednesday; sorry, but I don't know the Rockville or Crossroads markets); foot traffic at these markets is lighter than weekend markets and some just might have what you're looking for.

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Saw a few stands with Romas this morning at Dupont. I'm not sure if those are considered "plums" also or what their season is if different.

Roma is another name for plum tomato, which is a reference to its shape--oval like a prune plum. There are probably numerous varietal names, but in general Romas are the types with more flesh and less juice than the summer "slicing" tomatoes and are preferred for making tomato sauce, puree and paste. They are generally later ripening, and while they can be found in mid-summer, they seem to have a longer growing season than the earlier-ripening types, so are the ones still appearing at the end of the season.

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FWIW Potomac Vegetable Farm which is near Hillsboro off of route 9 in Western Loudoun county has the greatest variety of tomatoes that I have seen anywhere. On Thursday there were nine different varieities of Heirlooms (Striped German, Valencia, Brandywine, etc.), a half dozen or more different cherry tomatoes and several shades of red of plum tomatoes... They also grow their own garlic, red onions, scallions and about everything else. http://www.potomacvegetablefarms.com/

The gazpacho I made that night, after sitting for a day and adding lump crabmeat and sweet corn, was otherworldly.

I know they exhibit at several farmer's markets and use to have a closer in stand on route 7 but the real selection is at their western Loudoun farm. If anyone reading this goes consider stopping at Hillsborough Winery on route 9 just west of Hillsboro. We've now been to every winery in Western Loudoun and this continues as our favorite although Bluemont has the best view (and hosts the most weddings).

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OK, seriously, what is wrong with people? Three separate vendors at Dupont yesterday said they don't carry plum tomatoes because "nobody buys them." Really?! C'mon. I can hardly believe it. Are people really so fixated on "heirlooms" that they shun any other kind of perfectly valid delicious ripe tomato? [/rant]

...did find one vendor who sold me fifty pounds for forty bucks. woot!

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OK, seriously, what is wrong with people? Three separate vendors at Dupont yesterday said they don't carry plum tomatoes because "nobody buys them." Really?! C'mon. I can hardly believe it. Are people really so fixated on "heirlooms" that they shun any other kind of perfectly valid delicious ripe tomato? [/rant]

...did find one vendor who sold me fifty pounds for forty bucks. woot!

That was Jim at Anchor Nursery and it may explain why a bunch of restaurants in Penn Quarter love him so. Funny. I didn't go on a mission on Sunday since you already had found your supplier when we talked, but all the organic and on-the-way-to-organic-again growers have plum tomatoes, just not in vast quantities yet, in part, perhaps because of what Zora says, though I also think it's a matter of second-plantings vs. first. Next Step, New Morning, Tree & Leaf (always), Farm at Sunnyside...

When tomato season FINALLY arrives, more people are thinking tomato sandwiches, insalta caprese, BLTs and other simple pleasures. You get your cherry varieties as the amuse bouche of the season [ © ], then the big Purple Cherokees, Stripy Germans and whatnot. Then as fall approaches and all those plates of pasta tossed w olive-oil marinated raw tomatoes, garlic, basil and ricotta salata build up a taste for cooked sauce. Ergo, farmers may reserve their plum tomato plantings for the second vs. first harvests. Theory.

Last week at the Tuesday market in Crystal City, I was impressed by the mega-load of summer produce at Barajas, and while I was fixated on the peppers, I am pretty sure there were lots of plum tomatoes, too. Mr. Monavano or goldenticket might be able to give you the lowdown there if 50 lbs. aren't enough. I can also check out Garners at Penn Quarter on Thursday since Dana sells just about everything that grows in Virginia.

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All the slower growing tomatoes seem to be later and/or shyer bearing this year than normal. Cinda at Dupont hasn't even started with tomatoes.

Hmmm on first point, wonder why, though I do know organic cukes were decimated this year due to effect of weather on a certain beetle. Cinda has had tomatoes for several weeks, though maybe not enough for the number of restaurants that come during final hour.

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^Interesting. Last year I waited until the second week of September and totally struck out, so this year figured with everything else being so early... oh well.

Jim said that his plum tomatoes only sell in "certain neighborhoods". I think he only had three cases on his truck. Two of those cases are now 23+ pints in my freezer.

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I know at New Morning, the plum tomatoes are only just starting to come on. We had them at this past Sunday's market and will continue to have them at all markets. They were part of the second planting and besides that, they seem to be slower ripening than the heirloom or "standard" tomatoes. But we will have them now! And if anyone out there is looking for a certain amount of them, we do special orders so feel free to PM me about that sort of thing.

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