Tomatoes are in the Solanaceae or nightshade family.
If you are a tomato person—or even if not—farmers market tomatoes are sure to wake up your taste buds. Bustling in flavor and variety, tomatoes can be eaten raw on their own, in a salad, soup or sandwich. Read below to learn more!
Tomatoes are full of vitamin A, and vitamin C. Vitamin A is involved in immune function and vision. The Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin A is 900 micrograms and 700 micrograms for men and women respectively.
Vitamin C is a necessary diet component that is important for wound healing and maintains the strength of bones, gums, and teeth. The Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin C is 90mg and 70 mg for men and women respectively.
Selection and Storage
When selecting tomatoes, your nose is your best judge. Fresh, ready to eat tomatoes have an enticing fragrance. In terms of looks, select plump tomatoes with a firm skin. Avoid bruised, blemished tomatoes with deep cracks. Farmers markets tomatoes are not uniformally one shade of red, nor are they always perfectly round. Don’t shy away from heirloom varieties, which can be yellow, green, orange or even purple and wildly curvy and imperfect in shape.
Tomatoes should be purchased when ripe (firm and juicy) and eaten within a few days. Store ripe tomatoes stem-side down on a flat surface at room temperature. If purchasing tomatoes under-ripe, store at room temperature until fully ripe, then eat or store in a cooler spot.
For longer term storage, check out this recipe for Canned Homemade Tomato Sauce.
When to buy it?
Maryland’s peak tomato season runs from July to September. The beautiful field-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes that you’ll find at farmers markets best enjoyed eaten raw, in a refreshing peach-tomato salsa or tomato salad with rosemary.
Adapted from Delish
A touch of salt does wonders at bringing out tomatoes’ natural sweetness. To take your taste buds on further adventure, try a caprese salad, a traditional Italian combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. The flavors work together in perfect harmony.
Photo Credit: Yuri Huta