A recent post on tomatoes resulted in a lively discussion in the comments section regarding heirloom and â€œnativeâ€ or â€œlocalizedâ€™ tomatoes. I also read with interest Karenâ€™s post on Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans that details these irregular looking but great tasting tomatoes that have evolved on local shores over the last two hundred + years or soâ€¦ I finally got some at the market today and now realize these were the tomatoes we used to buy long ago when all the other fancy â€œmodernâ€ farmed versions werenâ€™t so readily available. These tomatoes have a very thin skin and a somewhat watery pulp. They are great for sawsawan (dipping sauces) and overall a nice naturally interesting option to greenhouse varieties.
How did these tomatoes get this way? I think the original seeds introduced centuries ago, mutated over time and since we just kept planting the seeds from the fruit, they have in fact become â€œlocalizedâ€ and pretty much now our â€œown.â€ A similar result is visible in our local eggplants that have mutated into slightly different shades of green and whiteâ€¦ At any rate, these localized tomatoes were superb in a simple dip with chilli vinegar and salt that I served with some fried fish (post up next). They do tend to bruise and spoil faster than the thicker skinned varieties so only buy what you can use up in the next couple of days. At PHP40 a kilo, these are a bargain compared to the fancy beefsteak tomatoes I got in the same shopping spree at PHP120 a kilo!