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Tomato Greats


It was a great tomato season in Connecticut this year. The extended warm weather has given my dadуs garden an enormous yield, and the tomatoes are still ripening. This year, in addition to our favorite varieties (Czech,  Fourth of July, one or two Burpee beefsteak types and Persimmon), we tested many early-ripening varieties for my sister Susie, who lives in the Berkshires. The Oregon Star, a plum type that yields massive five-inch-long fruits, is meaty and sweet.  A hybrid called the Ultimate Opener is called "the champion of earliness!" in the Shumway's catalog, and this is no exaggeration. Territorial Seed Co. offered a new, not-early variety called Momatoro. A Japanese hybrid, it is deep pink and true to its catalog description:  "The flavor is an intricate and harmonious combination of sweet and tangy. I couldn't say it any better. All of these tomatoes have become part of our permanent collection.

When it comes to making tomato sauce, I now follow Susieуs food-mill method. I used to blanch, peel and seed the tomatoes before cooking, No more. Just core and coarsely chop, simmer until fairly thick and pass it all through a food mill. Then sauté a modest amount of onion and garlic in olive oil, add the tomatoes, then simmer again to create a smooth and velvety sauce.  With this warm weather,  it looks like we'll be making another batch very soon.

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