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Tomato Festa at Eataly NYC Downtown

Tomato Festa at Eataly NYC Downtown

Get ready, amici: it’s peak pomodoro season and we’re stocked with giant beefsteaks, tiny cherries, and everything in between. From August 16 - 22 at Eataly NYC Downtown, we're embracing all things tomatoes! Read on to see how to make the most of peak pomodoro season, and for a recipe or two!

Tomato Varieties

DISCOVER THE BEST OF THE SEASON

Summer tomatoes always taste best when you keep it simple. From the initial selection to the salt, we have a few tips you should consider before you slice open that ripe, juicy tomato.

GET PICKY

When choosing a large tomato, look for deep consistent coloring, a sweet and earthy aroma, and a tomato that feels heavy for its size. Small tomatoes should also have a deep color, be smooth and unwrinkled, and have a strong and pleasant smell.

SKIP THE FRIDGE

When a tomato’s environment gets below 68°F, the genes responsible for the flavor we know and love get turned off. We keep our tomatoes out of the fridge to preserve their flavor, and we suggest you do the same.

JUST ADD SALT

Salt draws out the juices in tomatoes, which not only enhances their flavor but also makes for a great prepping technique. If you are packing a salad for later, considering salting your tomatoes beforehand to avoid a soggy lunch. And don’t throw away that juice! It can be reserved for a dressing or tomato-infused cocktail or juice! Looking for the perfect sea salt to compliment your tomatoes? We love this hand-harvested rock salt from Sicily.

REAP ALL THE HEALTH BENEFITS

Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, is believed to reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease and is also responsible for the beautiful red coloring in tomatoes. Get the full benefits by cooking your tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil, which increases the body’s absorption of this beneficial nutrient. You can find our favorite olive oils from regions across Italy here.

THE TOMATO KING

Tim Stark grows more than 100 heirloom tomato varieties for NYC’s best chefs

Eckerton Hill Farm started on the rooftop of a Brooklyn brownstone, where owner Tim Stark planted 3,000 tomato plants and 1,000 chili peppers.  Nineteen years later, the farm sits on 58 hillside acres overlooking the fertile Oley Valley of Berks County, PA. A passionate steward of biodiversity, Stark cultivates more than 100 varieties of tomatoes and optimizes the nutrient composition of his soil to provide the most flavorful produce for years to come. NYC’s best chefs line up at the Union Square Greenmarket for his heritage chili peppers and unique heirloom tomatoes– he’s normally sold out by noon. Luckily, you can still find his tomatoes at Eataly.

FUN FACTS ABOUT TOMATOES

Everything you could ever want to know about summer’s best vegetable fruit.

1. The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival, called La Tomatina, involves 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other.

2. Think of tomatoes as quintessentially Italian? They actually originated in the Peruvian Andes, where their Aztec name translated to “plump thing with a navel”

3. The first tomatoes in Europe were a yellow variety, prompting people to call them “pomo d’oro” or “golden apple.”

4. Due to their relation with the deadly nightshade plant, Europeans originally considered the tomato to be poisonous.

5. Tomato seedlings have been grown in space.

6. There are around 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide.

7. According to the Guinness World Record, the heaviest tomato weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and was grown in Oklahoma.

8. The scientific name for tomato is Lycopersicon, meaning wolf peach.

9. A tomato is a fruit. The confusion arose after the 1890s when the US supreme court named them a vegetable for taxation purposes (FYI–fruit is the edible part of the plant containing seeds; vegetables are the edible stem, leaf, or root.)

ENJOY COMPLIMENTARY TASTINGS

Join us throughout the week for a complimentary tasting of fresh tomato products and more in our marketplace. At Eataly, we believe the more you know, the more you enjoy. That's why we offer free tastings hosted by producers and Eataly's very own storytellers. Follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on our in-store demos and tastings!

tomato-bruschetta

Want to try your hand at making some classic Italian tomato recipes at home? Discover our Top Five Tomato Recipes on Eataly Magazine!