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Friday, August 19, 2005

Dirty Girl's dry farmed Early Girl tamatoes: or why you should shop at the ferry plaza tomorrow, part duh!

EatlocallogoOur handsome Joe at Dirty Girl has got some beautiful dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes now. Lots of them. I've been getting them every week, either at the Ferry Plaza market or Santa Cruz market or sometimes borrowing directly from the farm when he's not looking.

Joe's dry-farmed tomato is the size of a plum, and just about the sweetest and yummiest tomatoes you could find, beating your fancy heirloom tomatoes by at least a mile. Not that there's anything wrong with heirlooms, per se, but just because some tomatoes are labeled heirlooms, and cost you five dollars a pound, doesn't mean they are any good to eat.

Seriously, you've never really had great tomatoes until you've had dry farmed tomatoes. They are generally smaller and pack full of concentrated tomato flavors that have not been diluted by too much water while growing. The skin of a dry farmed tomato is a little stronger than that of the regular tomato, which is an added bonus because that means the dry farmed tomatoes don't bruise as easily. Joe's dry farmed tomatoes are seriously good, and good in practically anything. I have been using them almost everyday since the season began, in my stir-fries, pan con tamate, tomato tart, pasta, or just eating outright like a fruit. Because it is, in fact, a fruit.

And the height of the dry farmed tomato season is coming on fast and furious. So much so that Joe asked me to pass along a public service announcement. And by public service announcement I mean advertisement for my friend!

He's got tomatoes, ladies and gentlemen, Joe's got lots of tomatoes. And he wanna sell them. To you. Yes. You. Don't be looking over your shoulder. It's you I'm talking to.

His Dirty Girl's dry farmed tomatoes are $40 for a 20-pound box. That's only $2 a pound, and that's for his fancy, gorgeous grade. He also has another grade, a less pretty -though every bit as delicious- grade he likes to call the Saucier, because they are great for sauces, and go for only $25 for a 20-pound box. The Saucier ones are basically a little blemished, hence not pretty enough to be used in salads and other things that a pretty face is required, like being a Food Network star par example. But even unpretty people, um, tomatoes need love too, you know.

What are you going to do with 20 pounds of tomato you asked? Well I don't know! I'm Thai, not Amish. But Heidi has got some good ideas, always, as does our Clotilde. Heck, even Epicuirous has got some.

So go and buy Joe's tomatoes and put some up for later, so you can continue to eat local, and eat damn well, long after August is over.

Dirty Girl Farm market schedule:
Saturday:
San Francisco Ferry Plaza market, 8am-2pm
Sunday:
Santa Cruz/Live Oak market, 10am-2pm
Tuesday:
Berkley farmers market, 2-7pm
Felton Market, 2.30-6.30pm
Wednesday:
Downtown Santa Cruz, 2.30-6.30pm santacruzfarmersmarket.org

Check out his farm site while you are at it.
And more photos from Dirty Girl farm on my Flickr.

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