I have been enjoying these delicious paste/plum style tomatoes from Tonnemaker's Family Orchards for about five weeks now, mainly in gazpacho and salads. I stopped by their booth at the Capital Hill Farmers’ Market this morning mainly to check out their apples and pears, but when I spied and then smelled these beauties, I had to buy a bunch of them – the season is waning you know. When I sliced one for my lunchtime ham sandwich, the heavenly aroma and deep red color had me reaching for the camera.
They are shaped like San Marzano tomatoes but they have a brilliant yellow-gold striping in the skin - of course my photography doesn't do their striping justice. Paste/plum tomatoes don’t do that well up here in the Pacific Northwest due to the highly variable amounts of sun we can get in summer. Most never get the deep red color and ‘meaty’ texture that they should have - many skip meaty and go right to mealy. Although they made a great gazpacho, when I used them earlier this year I wasn’t paying attention to their color and texture, and they are everything they should be including a deep tomato flavor. I haven’t been able to find their ‘official’ name, but I’ve seen them sold as Striped Roman, Yellow Stripe Roman, and Tiger Plum. Take your pick on the name, but more importantly take a picture to your favorite tomato farmer and have him or her grow some next season.