Four tips for tomato lovers
1. Know your heirlooms. “As far as heirlooms, the best flavored heirloom is probably a Cherokee Purple, followed by a Brandywine,” Millsap says. The Cherokee Purple tomato has a dark color and rich flavor. The Brandywine, which is generally considered the gold standard of heirloom tomatoes, has a rosy-pink color and tangy flavor. Both are readily available throughout the Ozarks.
2. The smaller the tomato, the sweeter it tends to be. “Just remember that the bigger they get, they will lose sweetness,” Millsap says. “Cherry and grape tomatoes are your sweetest.”
3. Select tomatoes that have been grown in soil, as opposed to those in hydroponic systems. “I always say what makes a tomato taste good is variety,” Curtis Millsap says. “But more than the variety, it is all about the growing method.” He recommends ensuring that tomatoes have been grown in a healthy and mineral-rich soil; the wider the variety of mineral exposure, the better the tomato will be. “I can’t emphasize enough what a difference that will make.”
4. Remember that beauty isn’t necessarily everything when selecting your tomatoes. “If you love heirlooms, you have to be prepared for them being ugly,” Millsap says. “They will naturally have cracks.”