Simply slice a colorful assortment and arrange it on grilled rustic bread that’s been rubbed with garlic and oil. This is a great party trick that delivers lots of impact from very little work. Enjoy it until summer is gone, then make a promise: See you next year.
Heirlooms are so-called because the seeds have been handed down over generations, and they are open-pollinated, meaning they produce seeds that resemble the parent plant, not always the case with commercial hybrids, which are bred for durability rather than taste. There are 100-plus kinds of heirloom tomatoes growing on vines these days, and most have names -- German Pink, German Johnson, Indiana Red, Cherokee Purples, Carolina Golds, Green Zebras, Black Krims, just to name a few -- as unique as their looks. Explore the flavorful and diverse world of heirlooms, and you’ll be a true believer!
In Season: Heirloom tomatoes come in early- mid- and late-season varieties, but the growing season is still relatively short, lasting from mid-summer to early fall. A short growing season for sure!
What to Look For: Heirloom tomatoes come in a veritable rainbow, but regardless of the color, look for plump fruit without bruises or decay. Heirlooms are more susceptible to cracking, but as long as the cracks are healed (meaning you can't see the flesh), the blemish won't affect taste or safety.