09 Mar2008

“Native” Tomatoes

by Marketman


It’s nearly summer and the markets are starting to display an abundance of tomatoes. Although the weather patterns in the past few months have been odd, some produce has managed to stay “on schedule.” I was thrilled to find these native (read: mutts or mongrels, un-managed seeds) tomatoes with unique markings and colorings at a Batangas market yesterday morning. These tomatoes have relatively thin skins and would make a brilliant tomato salad because of their unusual markings, though they are less sweet and intense than some other tomatoes.


The unusual colors and shapes of the “native” tomatoes result from the natural “bastardization” that occurs in the wild, with wily tomatoes planting their genes in neighboring tomato lasses. I realize that is a weak scientific description, but suffice it to say that farmers who dry out their own seeds and re-plant these are eventually going to create new types of tomatoes, albeit with really mild differences… I happen to really like this aspect of the tomatoes and as the photos here show, they are just cool to look at, period. Earlier tomato posts here, here and here.




  1. Maria Clara says:

    The green specks set them apart from the mother hen more of a heirloom breed to me. Look miniature probably like the size of sinuguelas? Great with chopped green mangoes, onion and sautéed bagoong with steamed shrimp and crabs for Lenten food. With your excellent photography skills you capturee their stunning beauty with red and some grayish background in white plate!

    Mar 9, 2008 | 6:02 am


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  3. rachel says:

    beautiful tomatoes.i usually chop them and mix with onions, jalapeno pepper,cilantro, lime juice and bagnet oh and also a little patis.eaten with lots of white rice and i’m in heaven.

    Mar 9, 2008 | 6:36 am

  4. noemi says:

    this is what kind of tomatoes i grew up with.

    Mar 9, 2008 | 7:22 am

  5. Roberto Vicencio says:

    My mom and I use these for the pinakbet and they are just wonderful. I have tried to get some tomato seeds from the US but have failed to grow them. I guess the thumb is not green enough.

    Mar 9, 2008 | 7:59 am

  6. aggy says:

    how about lightly dredged in a cornmeal/salt/pepper/flour mixture and pan fried in olive oil?

    Mar 9, 2008 | 11:35 am

  7. alilay says:

    fried green tomatoes? yum

    Mar 9, 2008 | 12:04 pm

  8. Homebuddy says:

    Tomatoes aside,as always, nice photo. Are you sure you are not a professional food photog because your pictures always seem perfect. You get the best of what you are photographing all the time. Congratulations!

    Mar 9, 2008 | 1:58 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Homebuddy…thank you, flattery will get you everywhere… I was JUST about to put a post on how my hands shake so much I discard 90% of my attempts at phtographing something… :)

    Mar 9, 2008 | 2:24 pm

  10. joey says:

    These tomatoes are downright gorgeous and you have done them justice with your photos! I love good-looking produce :)

    My hubby made a great green tomato salad (the native kind of tomato salad with onions) to go with a meal of binagoongan baboy…the taste of the green tomato complimented the binagoongan perfectly!

    Mar 9, 2008 | 10:55 pm

  11. millet says:

    MM, you’re getting to be quite THE photographer and stylist!

    Mar 10, 2008 | 7:56 am

  12. kasseopeia says:

    When we spend summers in Abra, we either see these tomatoes or the heirloom types (the ones you squish with your hand, sprinkle with rock salt and use as sawsawan for salted fish or anything fried. *yum*). If I remember correctly, the folks back there called them “tigre” or something that sounds like that. I don’t speak Ilocano, despite being born to Ilocano parents. What a shame! Haha.

    At any rate, this particular tomato is a bit bigger than siniguelas back in the province. It’s about the size of a small chicken egg and is more “matabang” or bland compared to say, heirlooms. But that is precisely why we chop them up and mix them in with salted duck eggs. The richness and the sharp salty taste of the duck eggs are mellowed out by the blandness and crunch of the tomatoes. I’m salivating now! Huhuhu…

    Mar 10, 2008 | 11:46 am

  13. Divina says:

    I haven’t seen those kinds of tomatoes here. They’re gorgeous.

    Aug 5, 2009 | 2:42 pm


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