I’d seen “Heritage Tomato Salad” appear on a couple of restaurant menus. So curious – I had to order it. No camera with me at the time – but if I’d taken a snap, you would have seen a mix of Tigerella, Green Zebra and then three varieties unknown but colours black, orange and yellow.
So I was intrigued to see the same selection on sale today at a foodie market. Their Paddington Bear label of origin identifying them as hailing from “Normandie”. So I took their photo and brought a few home.
It’s very cheering to have a platter of tomato colour to photograph. I’m not sure I would classify Tigerella or Green Zebra as heritage but that doesn’t make them any less lovely.
I was told a “Tigerella” tale by a grower of vintage years – and that was that Tigerella was never intended as an “eating” tomato. In case you are wondering what other kind of purpose a tomato could possibly put to … what he was referring to was its role in the tomato research stations of the 5os.
It was grown to ensure a consistency of control was in place. They wanted all the plants to be grown in the same conditions and as the plants on the outside rows of the large test beds got more light by dint of only having neighbours on one side – the outside plants were Tigerella – so when the fruit was picked – they could be easily separated out from the test tomatoes, the standard reds grown in the inward rows of the patch.