Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You say tomato. I say tasty.

Last Saturday morning I went to the tenth annual Great Tomato Taste Off at Quail Hill Community Farm at the junction of Side Lane and Deep Hill in Amagansett, New York on Long Island. It attracts tomato connoisseurs from around the country, including yours truly.

The purpose of the event was to taste and rate different 50 varieties of cherry, paste, and standard varieties of organically grown tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors: red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and green.

With pen and clipboard in hand, participants taste and rate displayed on large picnic tables lined with plates of tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces. To clear my palate, the good people at the Taste Off provided cubes of country bread and distilled water.

The rating system ranges from 1 (tasteless) to 5 (great). Results are tabulated, and the winners for each type of tomato bask in the sweet taste of victory.

I arrived at 11:30, a half an hour before the event ended, and by then all the forks were gone. Undaunted, I went old school and used my hands. They worked fine.

All in all, I loved every tasty moment of the Great Tomato Taste Off. Lewis Grizzard was right when he said, "It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."

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