Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ark of Taste: Red Fig

This year we will be planting several items off of Slow Food's Ark of Taste. These are very special heirlooms and by purchasing seeds to these items we are encouraging them to be produced by commercial seed producers. Eventually we will save seeds from these varieties as well, but we do not plan much seed saving this year. (That will wait until we are farming full time.)

Here is a description of the Red Fig tomato from Slow Food, USA:

These 1.5” pear-shaped tomatoes have been grown in American gardens since the 18th century. They were traditionally dried and packed away for winter use in substitute of figs. They are also used fresh.

The Red Fig Tomato is named for a sugary delicacy that was made with this fruit and popular in the mid 1800s. To make the “figs,” boiling water was poured over the tomatoes to remove the skins and then the skinless tomatoes were placed in a stone jar with equal parts sugar to tomatoes. The resulting syrup was then removed from the jar and boiled and skimmed. The process was repeated over two days, with intervals of cooling. Finally, the tomatoes were dried in the sun for about a week at which point they were packed in small wooden boxes, with fine, white sugar between every layer. Tomatoes prepared in this manner were said to keep for years.

The tomato is currently available from only three seed companies in the United States.
Fresh Red Figs have a full tomato taste with very sweet skin. In addition to being a delicious plated solo act, they’re perfect for contemporary tomato jams and chutneys.

Sounds so yummy! I can hardly wait for summer....

No comments: