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Friday, October 30, 2015

Another Tomato Story - The good, the bad, and the amazing!

I received some pictures of tomatoes from a friend of mine who also manages a restaurant.   They are typical of what most large restaurants receive.    They are picked green and then gassed with ethylene to help them ripen.  The problem is they don't ever get the same flavor or color as if they were ripened on the vine.
This isn't a slam on the restaurant, because when you have contract suppliers for produce, this is what you get.  

Another option is to visit small restaurants that buy locally grown produce as much as possible.

One option is Riverside, is the Woodfire Cafe at 3965 Market St.   Its on Market and downtown, across the street from City Hall.   Here is a picture of a caprese salad that he serves.   The tomatoes were sourced locally by me, and the basil was grown on my farm.    Take a look at how red the tomatoes are.

This dish shows the amazing color of a vine ripened tomato.

Here are the images of the typical tomatoes that are available to restaurants.
They are still very green and there is a red lid beside the tomatoes to show the contrast.
As I said - this isn't mean that restaurants are serving bad produce.   These tomatoes will work fine, but could taste better.   This is why it's important to have a vibrant farming community in Riverside growing local produce.   Please don't email me and ask which restaurant, because it really doesn't matter as any restaurant in the US could have tomatoes like this delivered from their produce supplier.