"You say Tomato, I say Tomate, ...Pomodoro, ... Vτομάτα ..."
Tomato season is about to begin. This year, the Roslindale Farmers’ Market celebrates the versatile tomato by exploring how popular and widespread the use of tomatoes has become in cultures around the world.
Beginning on Saturday July 21, the Roslindale Village Main Street Farmers’ Market will ask members of the community to share recipes and descriptions of ethnic dishes and family favorites which incorporate the tomato. During the course of four Saturdays, the market will post a cultural collage of tomato dishes which reflect the very diversity of Roslindale itself.
This juicy fruit (yes fruit) has an interesting history of travel. Tomatoes are believed to have originated in Peru, and were later domesticated as a crop by the Aztecs of central Mexico around 500 BC. Italy embraced the tomato as a cooking ingredient around 1680 AD after it migrated as an ornamental plant to Europe and Asia in the 1500s.
Today, more than 7,500 varieties of tomatoes are grown worldwide. Boston area farms like Allandale, MacArthur and Brookwood, all at the Roslindale Farmers' Market, will produce 30-50 different varieties of tomatoes for sale as this season progresses. The diversity of colors, shapes and sizes of different varieties of tomatoes is worth a visit in itself between now and mid-August. And, it's not too late to grow your own. The Ferrara’s Tent at the Farmers' Market may still have a few tomato plants left for sale on July 21 along with other plants they sell; while the RVMS tent will help you plan ahead by sharing instructions on how to grow tomatoes from seed after you bite into this year's crop.
Activities celebrating the versatility of the tomato on July 21 include:
Displays of authentic Mexican dishes using tomato, cactus and other ingredients by Alejandro Rodriguez and Lucy Galvin of El Chavo Mexican Products.
Antonio DeBenedicitis of Tony's Market will share his personal recipe for Italian tomato sauce at the Tony’s Market tent.
The proprietor of Samira’s Homemade, Ragab Hamdoun will have tabouleh and other Egyptian and Lebanese delights available
The Soula’s Salsa tent will have ready to eat salsa and black bean-corn salads for sale prepared by owner Sue Michael-Brown.
Kate Caney of Neighborhood Farm and Johanna Flies from Two Fields Farm can talk to you about tomato plant blight warning signs and what to do with your plants at home if they are not producing tomatoes.
The Friends of the Library Tent will showcase recipe books with international cuisine using tomatoes.
The Roslindale Village Main Street booth will have information on growing tomatoes and preserving seeds from your tomatoes for next season as well as sponsoring a Guess the Weight of the Tomato contest for children ages 6-12 from 10:45-11:45 a.m.
Also on Saturday, July 21, Kasey Appleman will be leading Recycle Arts activities for children at 10 a.m. and the farmers’ market is proud to present Haitian-influenced and world music beat of Zili Misik from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
All shoppers are encouraged to participate in the International Tomato Dish Challenge by sharing diverse family and ethnic recipes and tomato dish descriptions. Bring your recipes or description of a hot or cold tomato dish to the Roslindale Village Main Street tent for the next four weeks and be entered for a chance to win a $75 certificate for dinner at a Roslindale restaurant of your choice. A drawing will be held each week at 11:45 a.m. for the next four weeks starting July 21. A bulletin board will display all recipes and dish entries which use tomatoes.
The Roslindale Farmers’ Market is sponsored by Roslindale Village Main Street and is located in Adams Park at the intersection of Washington Street and Cummins Highway. The market occurs from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday through the end of October. For more information about the market, go to their website at www.roslindale.net.