Let’s face it. One of the best parts of summer is the bounty of fruits and vegetables that become available. Tomatoes happen to be one of my favorite foods. When they are fresh and in-season, tomatoes are perfect all by themselves, no need to be cooked or even seasoned. I look forward to local tomatoes all year and then often eat them for several meals in a row.
When we arrived at the event, we were greeted by our PR agency hosts, offered some delicious wines, and then got settled to learn about Backyard Farms.
Backyard Farms grows fresh greenhouse tomatoes year-round in Madison, ME. As a small business, the employ 200 locals with good agricultural jobs that offer year-round work and benefits, something that is rare in an industry that often pays extremely low wages for seasonal work. Tomatoes at Backyard Farms are picked when ripe and only distributed as far as Maryland, ensuring they are perfectly ready for eating. The tomatoes are always fresh and at their best quality, juicy and red. You won’t find any tomatoes with dry, white centers from Backyard Farms.
Over the course of the event, we learned a lot about Backyard Farms and tomatoes, but the best part was the eating!
My favorites were definitely the cocktail tomatoes with their petite size and big, slightly sweet flavor. We had the opportunity to try our tomatoes plain and also with a variety of toppings like good balsamic vinegar and salts like an incredible applewood smoked salt that reminded me of bacon. Yum. Backyard Farms tomatoes are sold in a number of places in the Northeast; you can find out the stores near you on their website.
The second part of the event was a cooking demo from Neptune Oyster Chef Michael Serpa. He started by making a signature dish, a lobster caprese salad. Chef Serpa was entertaining as he put together the simple salad that highlighted quality ingredients like the tomatoes from Backyard Farms.
I actually missed eating the lobster caprese and other salad because I had a handsome date waiting for me at Nebo. It’s a rarity that my husband makes it back to Boston for dinner dates, so we jumped at the chance. But I am pretty much in love with Neptune Oyster and make it a priority to get there at least once a summer. That visit, for lots and lots of cold, briny oysters and lobster caprese salad needs to happen soon. Before I left I got to snag a great gift bag filled with, you guessed it, tomatoes! The bag included tomatoes, a cute tomato-shaped cutting board, a bottle of olive oil, a tomato knife, and a few other goodies. I can’t say I did anything exciting with the tomatoes; I ate most of them all on their own because they were so delicious.
Are you a tomato fan? What’s your favorite way to eat them?