Organic Dry Farmed Early Girl Tomatoes
Season: Summer through early Fall
Flavor: The globe-shaped Early Girl is an early season tomato, usually around the size of a tennis ball at full maturity. Bright red, smooth-skinned and slightly flattened in shape, the Early Girl tomato is meaty and can be quite sweet and concentrated in flavor.
Storage: Leave tomatoes at room temperature; refrigerating can alter the flavor and creates a mealy texture. Tomatoes continue to ripen after being picked, so keep this in mind when selecting tomatoes at the market. If you are not going to use them for a couple of days, choose fruit that are on the firmer side and allow to ripen on the counter.
How to use: Early Girl tomatoes are popular for the flavor they impart and their early season appearance. These bright red tomatoes are often dry-farmed, meaning the plant is cut off from its water supply after early irrigation and the roots are left to stress and struggle to reach water and the result is what some call the ideal tomato.
Early Girl tomatoes are considered ‘slicing’ tomatoes, and make great additions to sandwiches, bagels and quartered on salads. The sweet flavor makes for a wonderful soup or sauce, though preparations that require minimal cooking are more ideal for highlighting the early-season tomato’s flavor.
Nutrition: Tomatoes are low in calories, high in fiber and high in both Vitamins C and A. They are also good sources of Vitamin K, potassium and manganese. The fruit is also very high in lycopene, an antioxidant that has preliminarily been linked to cancer prevention, especially prostate cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Interestingly, organic tomatoes have been found to have higher levels of flavonoids than conventionally grown varieties.