Although we have been getting a sporadic and I guess sufficient supply of tomatoes for a couple of months, thanks to a few early fruits, it is only just now that they are really starting to ripen. I have not really had a good year with tomatoes this year, perhaps due to funny weather, or perhaps due to a little neglect. That said, some of the self seeded and later planted plants are yet to begin to ripen with haste, so, crop may end up being suitable.
If you have eaten home grown tomatoes, you would know that the stuff that they sell at the shops are tasteless, hard or mushy, pathetic excuses for food. If you have not tasted a home grown tomato.. do yourself a favour and do so, ASAP. Tomatoes are a staple backyard crop in many parts of Australia, and I guess across the world… maybe partly due to the inability to recreate that delicious flavour commercially.
I must admit, in relation to the hydroponic tomatoes, although, according to my partner, still better than store bought, they have failed the taste test. I intentionally planted the same variety in both the hydroponic system and in the ground. The taste test was of the small yellow variety as pictured, I think named “Golden Nugget”.
What is wrong with them?
There is something lacking in the complexity of the taste, I am not sure if I can narrow it down, but I can at least say that they seem to be lacking the acidity and bite of the soil grown plant, making them on the side of blandish and, although not in texture, sort of watery. Although, not terrible to taste on their own, but in comparison, they are clearly inferior. I guess it might be something to do with the minerals available to the plant, something along those lines. Perhaps some of you may have some experience or ideas as to why this may be the case and how one might improve the flavour outcomes? For now… my dreams of full flavoured tomatoes through the winter months supplied by an indoor hydroponic system, are feeling a little distant.
Anyway, I picked a bowl of tomatoes today, some will hit the plate, the rest I will make into a few jars of relish for the perfect condiment.
For my next post, I will be talking about my favourite tomato variety, one that I believe, once you have tried, it will be hard to think of any other 🙂 I will be also letting you in on another great heirloom vegetable that should be in everybody’s kitchen garden.