7/03/2013 01:06:00 PM

Ask the Austin Zagat Blog: What's the Deal With Heirloom Tomatoes?

Tomatoes just harvested by Seedlings Gardening
Eating out in our fair city raises all sorts of burning questions. Is it okay to take a date to a food trailer? Yay or nay on cargo shorts at Uchiko? Then there are the more general questions we’ve always wondered but been too afraid to ask. Are you allowed to eat garnish? Who pays for that extra appetizer? 

That’s where the Austin Zagat blog comes in. Ask us anything your heart desires in the comments section below, and we'll give you our honest opinion.  

This week a reader asked us, What’s the deal with heirloom tomatoes? 

Beautiful, juicy tomatoes are populating our summer menus all about town, and with good reason. Austinites look forward to tomato season all year, when the fruit tastes as sweet as candy. So what makes an heirloom an heirloom? These special breeds come from seeds that have been passed down through generations of plants without being hybridized.

“I grow them to give a variety of flavors and colors to food,” says Liz Baloutine, the owner of Seedlings Gardening, which builds and maintains gardens for restaurants like Josephine House, Buenos Aires CafĂ©, Elizabeth Street Cafe and more. Heirloom tomatoes are known for their rich taste and beautiful colors, which range from the traditional red, yellow, orange and green to purple and even white and black.

Beyond menus, find them at the farmers’ markets and make your own refreshing tomato salads. Or, if you’re hard core, eat them like an apple, juice running down your chin as you enjoy the summer.

Have a restaurant query you need answered? Ask us below in the comments section. 

1 comment :

  1. Is there a grocery store in Austin that carries the Tamarillos or "tree tomatoes" that are available in latin america?