Before the tomato season ended last month, I took the opportunity to boldly (kind of) expand my taste repertoire. I’ve never had non-red tomatoes before, but here was my chance.
I decided to continue my gazpacho taste tests and select three new types of tomatoes:
Yellow, green and purple.
PS: If you are reading and tomato-season has passed and you need to wait for several months for the next tomato season, I apologize in advance for making you sad.
So, I’m learning a lot about tomatoes while preparing this blog (which was really one of my original goals for blogging about food, ya know). Other than looking pretty, there are many different kinds of tomatoes in each color.
Yellow and orange tomatoes, for example, include awesome names such as Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, Golden Jubilee and the unappetizing-sounding Kentucky Beefsteak. I’m pretty sure I used the Yellow Brandywine Tomato, since that was available at my local farmer’s market.
Hey, did you know if you Google “names for green tomatoes” 80% of the links are about the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes”? Here’s a link for you now.
There is not too much I could easily find on green tomatoes (read: I got halfway to page two of Google and I got lazy), but I appreciated this article titled “We love green tomatoes.” I love green tomatoes as well.
As for my purple tomato, I’m pretty sure I picked out the Cherokee variety, as opposed to other cool-sounding names such as Buffalo Heart Giant, the 1884 (what a year!) Omar’s Lebanese (Omar’s coming!) and, what seems to be the purplest of the purples, the Original Purple Haze. I think the number of purple and pink varieties is higher than the number of vegetables kids today can actually name.
Also, apparently, red tomatoes are healthier, but only when pitted against yellow tomatoes, and not even significantly.
So, to say that I tested green tomato gazpacho versus purple tomato gazpacho is not accurate, since there are MANY KINDS OF YELLOW, GREEN AND PURPLE TOMATOES. I can make 16 different kinds of pink/purple gazpacho alone! Does one kind of yellow tomato differ significantly from another type of of yellow tomato? Maybe. I cannot assume so, since this blog is trying to be as scientific as possible.
But I’m not a real scientist. Heck, I almost typed “this blog is trying to be as science-y as possible.”
What’s important is that all three of these colorful tomatoes is that they are all heirloom tomatoes, which my first experiment deemed superior.
Following the same recipe I used for my first gazpacho recipe, I will make three batches, each with a different tomato.
The recipe I used:
Half a loaf of french bread, ripped into small chunks.
4 large heirloom tomatoes (yellow, green and purple)
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar, plus a little more for taste
1/2 cup of EVOO, plus a little more
Half yellow onion
1 red pepper
about 4 medium size garlic cloves
sea salt and pepper
This recipe was just my girlfriend and I. We could not both do this blind since the coloring differed significantly, and we were able to guess which was which.
What we said of the green gazpacho:
Girlfriend: “Sweet, banana-y? Less tomato taste. Third favorite.”
Me: “Sweet, cooling and refreshing, smooth. Sweetest taste, but not sweet like the cherry tomato gazpacho. Earthier than the others. Could use more salt.
Girlfriend: “More vinegar taste, second favorite.”
Me: “Deeper taste, more savory, not over-powering tomato taste, saltier taste.”
And finally, the yellow tomato:
Girlfriend: “Best one, most balanced.” (she is concise)
Me: “Sweet, nice sour bite at the end.”
You know, I’m going to pass on the over-thinking and deep analysis: all three were great. We were lucky enough to enjoy farmer’s market heirloom fresh tomato gazpacho…three kinds!
I really enjoyed all three. If we HAD to pick a favorite, according to both of us tasters (non-blind), we’d pick the yellow. But the other two work great as well. One is more sweet (green), the other is more savory (purple), and the yellow is most balanced (that’s all I had on my notes, which I took two months ago).
My hope for the future is to actually have a blind taste test with multiple testers, but also include red heirloom tomato gazpacho as well. Perhaps I will also tweak the recipe to make sure vinegar or salt or onions do not overpower the tomato flavor.
So, until next tomato season, keep dreaming about gazpacho!