7 August 2007
A Taste of Summer
Posted by Chef Paul under: Photo Post .
Heirloom Tomatoes have been one of my passions for years now. Each year I grow about 25 different varieties to explore the flavors and see which one produces the best. This year at a local Long Beach tasting of many varieties, Rainbow was the winner! It is know by other names as well like Old German, Hillbilly, Marvel Striped & Pineapple. This Yellow Heirloom with red streaks running through it was the sweetest and had the best texture of all the entries. Each yearÂ there is a different winner in our competitions since the weather conditions, gardeners & ripening times all seem to change. Tomatoficianados would be quick to point out that all those different names are different varieties, they just look similar and genetically may taste quite different.
A good thing to remember is that tomatoes do not like the cold! Please keep the poor things out of the fridge unless they are already diced up for salsa or the like. Rarely will a Grocery store, specialty market or even restaurant have a great tasting Heirloom because the tomatoes have seen the inside of a refrigerator. The best tomatoes are from the farmers market or straight from the garden. There are many ways to prepare them but just sliced up on a platter with some nice salt is pretty tasty. I fix mine sprinkled with flaked pink salt from the Murry River in Australia, along with Villa Mandori Balsamic, some good EV Olive Oil, and some fresh ground white pepper. A nice loaf of bread and bottle of wine and you’ve got a party.
OneÂ restaurantÂ that does an outstanding job with this summers best is Marche Moderne http://Marchemoderne.netÂ where my friend and fellow chef Florent Marneu is cooking up fantastic things. It is located in the old Troquet space in South Coast Plaza on the third floor near Nordstroms. Reservations are a little tough to get but well worth the effort.