No longer is the word “heirloom” reserved only for items like grandma’s broach or silver candlesticks. Referring to the original tomato, unadulterated by science and breeding, as an “heirloom” starts to feel authentically sexy, like that really cute girl next door who looks incredible with no makeup and would never consider botox.
With names like Pink Love Apple, Candy’s Old Yellow, Red Zebra, Cherokee Purple and—our favorite—Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter, how can you not become intrigued? And like that naturally beautiful girl, you’ll fall in love with these tomatoes’ imperfections. The quirky shapes, different sizes, and unconventional colors feel like a Benneton ad from the 90’s. The nooks, crannies and even brown ridges are proud medals of the natural growing process. To bite in and taste the depth of flavor when consumed at the peak of summer—it is as if other tomatoes should have to go by another name. They are not worthy of the OG!
This summer, we got with our friends at Tutti Frutti Farms (you’ve seen them at most of the big farmer’s markets around Los Angeles) and had them supply us with as many of their prize-worthy certified organic heirloom tomatoes as they could spare. We are featuring them on a BLT-style sandwich in which we lovingly gave top billing to the star vegetable—or is it a fruit? We call it the Heirloom TBL, serving up thick-carved heirloom tomatoes on toasted buckwheat bread with crispy Applewood smoked bacon, peppery arugula, and our non-GMO mayo made with cage-free eggs by our buddies at Sir Kensington’s—how fitting!
*Photos Courtesy of Philip Otto Photography