Okay, so technically this food event doesn’t happen in New York City…but it’s right over the river, and it’s such a cool, local, food-positive festival I had to include it. And it’s just a PATH train trip away! The Hoboken Historical Museum is sponsoring the Heirloom Tomato-Tasting Festival today from 1PM to 5PM, right in the heart of downtown Hoboken.

Tomatoes are a huge part of New Jersey’s agriculture and history, and there’s nothing more down-to-earth and homey than an heirloom tomato. “Heirloom” plants, for those non-foodies out there, means that the seed of the plant will grow true the next season–you can plant the seeds from these tomatoes and, next summer, grow the exact same tomatoes as the one the seeds came from. The vast majority of supermarket produce comes from hybrid plants, which are bred and/or genetically engineered to give one year of high-yield plants, so many of the seeds from these plants are inert or won’t grow true the next year. This hybridization of our everyday produce has also limited the different varieties of a fruit or vegetable we get to find in a typical supermarket: to maximize profit, stores only like to stock produce that will grow fast and bountiful, stay fresh on the shelves, and be visually appealing to the customer to sell. This leaves a lot of fruit and veggie varieties–including heirloom tomatoes!–out of our diet!

Which is why the Heirloom Tomato-Tasting Festival is so cool: it gives New Yorkers the chance to see tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, tastes, and colors, instead of just the few varieties we’ll find at Trader Joe’s. The tomatoes are coming in from Catalpa Ridge Farm in Wantage, NJ, and you can sample slices as well as buy them. Come out to the festival and you might get pleasantly surprised at what heirloom tomatoes can taste and look like–did you ever think you’d see a purple tomato in your life?! Head out to Hoboken today and see–and taste!–all that’s possible with local, fresh, heirloom tomatoes!

Hoboken Heirloom Tomato-Tasting Festival
Sunday, August 26, 2012 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1301 Hudson St, Hoboken, NJ