Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tomato Taste 2016 Results: The Favorite Wins, But Second Place is a Hotly Contested Race

We had almost 300 people come to yesterday's Washington Gardener Magazine 9th Annual Tomato Taste at the FreshFarm Silver Spring Market last Saturday. Here are the results of the more than 200 ballots submitted.
  1. Sun Gold from Chicano Sol
  2. Green Zebra from Three Springs Fruit Farm
  3. Chocolate Cherry from Mock's Greenhouse
  4. Yellow Pepper from Quaker Valley Orchards
  5. Cherokee Purple from Spiral Path Farm 
  6. Valencia from The Farm at Our House 
  7. Beefsteak from Spring Valley Farm and Orchard
Last year  'Black Cherry' upset both perennial favorites 'Sun Gold' and 'Sun Sugar,' but this year the sweeter tomatoes came roaring back. The second place spot was very close, with just a couple votes separating them. I was personally surprised by 'Green Zebra' pulling it out in the end.

If we had excluded the cherry varieties from our contest, then the 'Green Zebra' and 'Cherokee Purple' would have been at the top as the slicing tomatoes with the most votes.

Do take a minute to click on the photo link here to view the Facebook album of photos from the event. I think you will agree that the market tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous and very photogenic. Also, many people stopped by to create colorful tomato art and to pick up the free tomato seeds, growing tips, and recipes that we gave out.

Ethan of College Park, MD, (pictured here with his younger brother) won the prize drawing of a market bag full of gardening goodies and $25 worth of market tokens!

Most of the taste attendees were local, though we also had many who came quite a distance. About half live in Silver Spring. Another third live close by in Washington, DC or the neighboring towns of Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Kensington, and Bethesda. From farther away in Maryland, folks came from Glen Burnie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Ellicott City, College Park, Owings Mills, Baltimore, and Annapolis. From across the river in Virginia, attendees came from Crystal City. From out of the area, we had attendees from Portland, ME, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Boston, MA, Tucson, AZ, and Arcadia, CA. And we even had one taster this year from New Brunswick, Canada!

Thank you to all who came and participated. Thanks to the farmers for growing great tomatoes and to FreshFarm Markets staff for hosting us. Special thanks also to Ronit and Shely for helping with all the tomato sample cutting and helping greet all the tasters in the short two-hour event. See you next August!

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