Try Top Tomatoes

A sweet juicy tomato from the garden - ah, heaven! These days, homegrown tomatoes come in exotic shades of pink, purple, yellow and more and range from bite size to hefty four pounders.

Scott Daigre grows more than 300 varieties of tomatoes for his Tomatomania sales, including the one at the San Diego Botanic Garden March 20 and 21. He also sells online at tomatomania.com. Here are some of his favorites:
Green Zebra - Chefs discovered this green striped tomato and helped make it an edible garden classic. "It pushes the taste barrier," Daigre say. "It's spicy, tangy, different." Beautiful on a salad plate.
Jaune Flamee - Another saladette tomato, Jaune Flamee (yellow flame) turns tangerine colored and often shows a pink blush when ripe. "It loves the heat and will produce forever," Daigre says. Taste is sweeter and milder than the typical "big red tomato taste."
Cherokee Purple - This American heirloom is considered one of the black-purple tomatoes but Daigre describes its color as closer to mauve. A slicing tomato, Cherokee Purple has "the most outrageous tomato taste ever." Plant is a consistent producer over a long season.
Sungold - Daigre calls this the world's favorite tomato... and no wonder. Its golden cherries are sweet and juicy, perfect for snacking and convincing kids to eat their veggies. An early, prolific producer.
Aussie - This pink-hued heirloom, Daigre says, is "everything a beefsteak should be." It bears later in the season when other tomatoes may slow down. Great in a sandwich.
Ramapo - If you crave the much-touted Jersey tomatoes, Ramapo is for you. It was developed by Rutgers University four decades ago and credited with starting the Jersey tomato craze. Off the market for 20 years, it's been reintroduced this year. Medium-sized tomato with great taste.
Yellow Pear - Another chef favorite, this lemon yellow, petite, pear-shaped beauty dresses up any salad. As reliable along the coast as inland. "It's kind of irresistible," Daigre says.
Marvel Stripe - This bicolor heirloom is yellow streaked with red. It really shows its beauty, though, when sliced; no two look alike inside. "It's like a pinto pony," Daigre says. "Plus it's lusciously sweet, succulent and wonderful."

 

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