August 25, 2011

Farmers market gives tomatoes a fighting salute

Looking for a fight? Grab a tomato at Emory Farmers Market Tomato Centric Celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at noon and start throwing. 

"We have purchased foam tomatoes that are lightweight stress balls, and people can throw them at one another, in the tradition of the Spanish tomato fight," explains Julie Shaffer, sustainable food service education coordinator. 

To get a free tomato, market customers have to answer a tomato trivia question.  But, "even incorrect answers will get you a tomato!" Shaffer adds.

Tomato Centric, the third annual celebration of the tomato, also features demonstrations by notable local chefs. This year's guest is Jay Swift of 4th & Swift Restaurant who will be showing his tomato chops at 1 pm.

Shaffer notes that heirloom tomatoes, the old varieties, are enjoying a renaissance for their taste and disease resistance. 

"Varieties like Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Green Zebra and Yellow Pear are super sweet and delicious, and tomatoes are packed with nutrients. Even though the tomato is technically a fruit, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it a vegetable," she notes.

The event kicks off the return of Emory's weekly farmers markets, held Tuesdays from noon to 5 p.m. on the Cox Hall bridge.

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