Tomato Tasting 2018 Recap

Savoring summer’s bounty was top-of-mind at this year’s Tomato Tasting, like it is every year, and a record number of tasters showed up to sample, vote, and enjoy a beautiful, if not a bit cloudy, afternoon at Heritage Farm. 

Read on for a full recap and list of winners (varieties available in the catalog are linked).

Slicing Tomatoes

 First place winner Wisconsin Chief (by one vote) is from the Seed Savers Exchange collection and was grown at Heritage Farm this year for evaluation. While not currently in the catalog, the Tomato Tasting is one way we can share rare collection varieties with the community. Some past Tomato Tasting winners have eventually made their way into the catalog (a process that takes a few growing seasons), so stay tuned - Wisconsin Chief may be coming to a seed catalog near you. 

First place winner Wisconsin Chief (by one vote) is from the Seed Savers Exchange collection and was grown at Heritage Farm this year for evaluation. While not currently in the catalog, the Tomato Tasting is one way we can share rare collection varieties with the community. Some past Tomato Tasting winners have eventually made their way into the catalog (a process that takes a few growing seasons), so stay tuned - Wisconsin Chief may be coming to a seed catalog near you. 

1st place : Wisconsin Chief 

2nd place: Valencia 

3rd place: Copia

(Thank you to our friends at Featherstone Farm for sharing the Valencia and Copia tomatoes with us.)

Paste/Sauce Tomatoes

 Tomatoes in the Paste/Sauce division were all prepared using the same sauce recipe, showcasing how similar tomatoes can offer very different taste profiles. 

Tomatoes in the Paste/Sauce division were all prepared using the same sauce recipe, showcasing how similar tomatoes can offer very different taste profiles. 

1st place: Salvaterra’s Select - for the second year in a row, this Italian heirloom was regarded as the best.

2nd place: Opalka 

3rd place: Czechoslovakian 

Get the recipe used to prepare the sauces: Sugo: Juice of Life

Cherry/Snacking Tomatoes:

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1st place: Black Cherry - Winning by a landslide, this dusky purple-black tomato imparts a complex, sweet flavor.

2nd place: Igleheart Yellow Cherry 

3rd place: Cherry Roma 

Salsa Contest

In addition to tomatoes, salsas competed for top honors in the Salsa Contest, presented by the Oneota Community Food Co-Op. This year’s winner was a raspberry salsa, submitted by Heather Horton. 

Workshops

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Seed Savers Exchange staffers hosted workshops during the afternoon, which include a cooking demonstration for Fried Green Tomatoes (recipe) + Grilled Corn Salsa (recipe). 

Thank You!

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Thanks to all who attended the Tomato Tasting (or lived vicariously through photos and reports). By tasting and appreciating heirloom varieties, you share in our mission and your interest and support helps keep these incredible varieties where they belong: in our gardens, on our tables, and at tomato tastings for years to come.