Roma tomatoes and tomates de bola were the only two tomatoes I knew growing up. Then about 10 years ago some friends proudly showed us the heirloom tomatoes in their garden.
I had no idea what they were talking about, I thought they were referring to a specific variety, but they presented me with a basketful of tomatoes in all different colors! Green, orange, yellow and purple are the ones I remember, the purple ones especially caught my attention since I had never in my life seen a purple tomato.
Fast forward 10 years, along a dirt road in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley of Central California, where I’m headed with mouth-watering anticipation toward a family-owned business, Tutti Frutti Farms. There they grow heirloom fruits and vegetables under the warm California sun and the watchful gaze of red-tailed hawks.
I spent most of my morning and a bit of the afternoon walking through fields and soaking in the sun, aromas and bright colors of tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin and other wonderful squash. And I learned that heirloom tomatoes come from non-hybrid seeds passed down for generations.
After building up an appetite, I was treated to a lovely lunch which started with the basil, fresh mozzarella, and heirloom tomatoes with ground pepper and balsamic vinegar in the photo at the top of this post. One delicious dish after another followed and then we finished off with this homemade pumpkin pie. Isn’t it beautiful?
Did I mention I love pumpkin pie?
Here are some of the other beautiful tomatoes we tasted:
Warning: Do Not Adjust Your Screen!
If you are looking for Tutti Frutti Farms’ heirloom tomatoes or any of their other beautiful vegetables including squash, jalapeño peppers, and more, you can find them in the organic section at Vons supermarkets.
Thanks to the generous folks at Vons Supermarket and the lovely folks at Tutti Frutti Farms for treating me to a lovely tour and lunch.