Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Backyard Farms Tomatoes- Summer All Year Long!

If you talk to someone who is obsessed with food enough and a certain thought processes start coming up over and over again- there's the "buy local", the debate over the rise and fall of the cupcake, the beauty of kale...and the much discussed issue of tomatoes in the Northeast.  Here in this part of the country we are blessed with incredible tomatoes- juicy, full of flavor, gorgeous bright red- and those are just are "typical" tomatoes- don't get me started in the heirlooms...but we are also cursed.  Our tomato season is incredibly short- lasting just about a month at the end of the summer and then we gobble them down with such voracity so as to make us happy until the next year.  Of course, this never works and throughout the next 11 months (or so) we seek out BLT's and  Caprese Salads hoping for those full flavors and yet time and time again we are greeted with pink hued, mealy textured, flavorless tomatoes.  It is forever a disappointment, and one that gets taken to heart. 

I have the answer for you though- thats right after years of sadness over bad tomatoes- there is a farm right here in New England that is gifting us with August like tomatoes all year long.  Backyard Farms, located in Maine, was started in 2004 to solve the exact problem we've been discussing.  The beauty of this farm is that through their methods they are able to deliver their tomatoes through out New England (and Maryland but that's as far as they go) within hours of picking their fruit.  Can I repeat that- they are delivered to a variety of stores within hours of being picked- wanna talk fresh? 

Last week I had the opportunity to check out Backyard Farms tomatoes, try their different varieties and see how they hold up against my beloved tomatoes.  The color of each slice as lovely and red, with juice from their seeds streaming out indicating ripeness, and a firm outer exterior.  The flavors were spot on for what I was hoping for- slightly acidic, sweet and the type of fruit that can be eaten just on its own, or perhaps with just a sprinkle of sea salt?

We were treated to tastes of their three varieties- on the vine, beefsteak and cocktail.  I dont believe I've had the opportunity to try cocktail tomatoes before, and found these little orbs to be impossibly sweet and a wonderful snack.

Backyard Farms hit the Boston restaurant scene a couple winters ago when the Executive Chef at Neptune Oyster Michael Serpa ran to a nearby market looking for tomatoes to satisfy the off season whim of the restaurant owners daughter.  He found pretty looking tomatoes with the Backard Farms sticker attached and hoped for the best.  What he found, in the middle of a snowy winter, was a consistent, delicious perfectly ripe tomato.  He has continued to use them ever since as a way to keep those summer favorites on the menu all year long.

We were treated to a few sample of his incredible food all using the Backyard Farms tomato throughout our evening- a lobster caprese (yeah) and an off menu sardine, arugula and tomato crostini that was absolutely delightful. 

I walked out of the evening knowing that my woes of unripe tomatoes were done, that if I could have a Backyard Farm tomato- I would be a happy camper all year long.  It also renewed my incredible desire to return to Neptune Oyster for what is definitely the nest lobster roll in the city....

3 comments:

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

It's too bad I had to miss this event. Lobster caprese sounds perfect!

Michelle Collins said...

It was so great seeing you at this event! Such a great time, and delish food!

Megan said...

This was such a fun event... great seeing you there!

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