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Tomato Contest 2012

Once more the intrepid gardeners of Redwood City California got together for an informal Tomato Tasting - July 29th.

There were two categories this year with one being "cherry" tomatoes, and the other being "other." The winner from last year, Stan Konrad, walked away the big winner again this year - in both categories! At one point there was a "taste off" between Stan and Ann Gahagen, and upon second testing, Stan won. The million dollar question is "how does Stan do it?"

Going on past experience, the contest was a bit more organized this year. The contestant list was digitized on an Excel spreadsheet, so as contestants arrived, they typed in their category, name, and variety, then they placed their ID label on a dish along with their sliced tomatoes. As they waited in the living room, their labels were replaced with ID letters, and then the dishes were placed on the testing table.

Contestants tested the "other" category first, and then moved on to the more flavorful cherry tomatoes. This was learned from last year when it was realized that the flavorful cherries can take over the slightly less defined taste of the larger varieties.

Dining followed with homemade tomato soup and garlic bread, followed by salad with communal tomatoes, chicken teriyaki kabobs, and then dessert - an apple tart the size of a pizza!

Right before dessert, the winners were announced and pictures taken. Everyone seemed to have a grand ole time test tasting, dining, and chatting.
Below is pictured Stan and Ann - both winners.
testing_12.jpg

Can anyone answer the million dollar question from above? What is it that makes a tomato taste really good?
This year I personally have wonderful tomatoes of all varieties. Large ones, small ones, fabulous shaped ones in fact you name it I have it and they are great. BUT - and you knew it was coming - I don't think I would be able to win any prizes for taste. Even the Sun Golds that I planted, the very same that Stan always won with in years gone by, are not the fabulous tasting little fireballs that I expected or wanted.
Is it too much water? Not enough heat? too much/not enough compost? I have yet to find out. In the next two weeks I will be addressing my own large variety of tomatoes in a small taste test so ya'll come back now!

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