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Sun Sep 20, 2015, 01:35 PM

The quest to resurrect America's best tomato...

It might seem strange that the state known for mobsters, gas refineries and toxic superfund sites also gave the world one of the most delicious fruits known to man: the plump, red and juicy Jersey tomato.

I so miss Jersey tomatoes. There are none as good anywhere else, said Jennie Phipps, a writer who lived in South Jersey and Delaware for 17 years but now lives in Michigan. I like them sliced with a little salt, and I love tomato sandwiches on whole wheat with lots of mayonnaise. And Im happy to eat one just like an apple.

But Phipps might not recognize the Jersey tomatoes sold today. Theyre harder and less juicy than they used to be, and thats no accident.

Food scientists have been tinkering with the molecular structure of the tomato for years, so tomato processors who now harvest by machine could have fruit that easily falls off the stem. Scientists also thickened the tomatos skin and interior walls so they were more durable during the shipping process.

All that tinkering has affected the fruits taste, say Jersey tomato connoisseurs. Over the last 30 years, the Jersey tomato, while still delicious, is only a shadow of its former self.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/20/inside-the-quest-to-resurrect-americas-best-tasting-jersey-tomato

Interesting article! No wonder tomatoes just aren't what they use to be.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The quest to resurrect America's best tomato... (Original post)
Little Star Sep 2015 OP
elleng Sep 2015 #1
Little Star Sep 2015 #2
LWolf Sep 2015 #3
Paper Roses Sep 2015 #4
GreatGazoo Sep 2015 #5
clamshells Oct 2015 #6

Response to Little Star (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2015, 01:40 PM

1. I don't buy grocery tomatoes any more,

NO flavor! Good thing my daughter's father in law, in Jersey, has grown them, so I occasionally taste a REAL tomato!

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 20, 2015, 01:52 PM

2. I hear you, grocery store tomatoes are awful....

My late husband always had a garden & my daughters still do, thank heaven. But with all of us living in MA the season is way too short. But I enjoy them while I can.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:05 PM

3. I've never had a Jersey tomato.

Probably the best large tomato I've ever had is the Brandywine. You can't buy it in stores, though. No tomato developed for large scale harvest and distribution will be able to compete with old homegrown varieties.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2015, 04:47 PM

4. Just did a nice long dissertation about this years veggie & tomato crop. Lost it.

To boil it down to a quick reply. I'm in MA and this has been the worst growing season ever. I share a space with a neighbor. We've decided to rely on the local farmers markets next year. Not worth the cost and effort these past 2 years. This year was a huge waste! Did not recoup the cost of flats, fertilizer or seed.
Not a normal growing season.

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Response to Paper Roses (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 10:03 PM

5. Sorry to hear that. What went wrong?

I'm in the Hudson Valley and it was dry and sunny (August), now cool nights and 78F days and the plants are loving it. Best tomatoes of the season coming now.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Tue Oct 13, 2015, 05:18 PM

6. you can buy brandywine in some stores

 

I live in new england and I grow Stupice. It is an early, very very prolific tomato. It is about 1/4 the size of a regular tomato, so just pick more. It does not taste like a cherry tomato and is bigger than those.

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