Local tomato disappointment

By Lucia August 21, 2013

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This time of year we are usually running the Tomato sandwich. A thick steak of heirloom tomato, salt and pepper, Grafton cheddar, mayo, lettuce.

This has been a horrible year for tomatoes in Massachusetts. We’ve talked to all our farmers and no one is getting tomatoes in the volume they got last year. We’re talking 100 pounds total for some farmers who used to supply us with 1000 pounds weekly. I assume it’s because of the wet weather we had in the middle of the summer. We tasted local field tomatoes yesterday at the Food Dev meeting. They were fine, and we’re using them in our cucumber-tomato salad, but taste-wise, they’re nothing close to where they need to be to highlight in that sandwich. Because yields are so low, the prices are super high.

On the upside, it’s been a great summer for melons (expect tons of melon to hit the menu soon), eggplant, peppers, and basically everything else you associate with summer. The CSAs are brimming. We’re brainstorming about how to spotlight what’s beautiful right now.

And all this is to say that we’re going to bring back the Enzo sandwich in the seasonal slot (which takes advantage of local eggplant and peppers) while we hope for better local tomatoes. I’m worried that we might have to skip the Tomato sandwich altogether if we can’t get beautiful ones in the volumes we need.

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