Like other things passed down over generations, heirloom tomatoes get their name because they’re grown from seeds passed down by farmers from season to season for 50 years or more. And these delicious, non-hybrid tomatoes just happen to be one of my all-time favorite foods!
Farmers hand-select next season’s seeds from the heirloom tomato plants that produced this season’s best fruit, and they taste so much better than mass-produced tomatoes. They’re also naturally pollinated by birds, insects, and the wind – you won’t find heirloom tomatoes in a laboratory science experiment with genetic modifications.
Some people call heirlooms the “ugly tomatoes” since they have such unique shapes and colors, unlike the plump, round, red tomatoes most people have come to expect in the grocery store. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and heirloom tomatoes also excel in tastiness!
Yesterday I came across some and thought they would be a great subject to photograph with something I’ve been wanting to use. It’s an antique scale from Romania and was used long ago in a shop for the town people’s purchases.
The two original brass pans were used with small weights placed in one pan, and the item being weighed placed in the other. Made of cast iron, the balance scale is 20″ long by 9″ tall with the pans in place.
And although the names (Romania and romaine) sound similar but have nothing to do with each other, romaine lettuce was used as a complement for the heirloom tomato photographs. Lest you think they were only for posing, the heirlooms and lettuce made a delicious salad after taking pictures of them whole and sliced!
Adding chopped onion, salt, and pepper – and dousing it with (my favorite) straight-up balsamic vinegar – the salad was a delicious dinner, and the leftover heirlooms and lettuce will make several more salads for meals this week.
Viva la heirlooms!
Be sure to follow The Daily Artisan on Facebook and Instagram @thedailyartisan, and visit The Daily Artisan online store!