Marvel Stripe Heirloom Tomatoes
Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
|Food Buzz: History of Heirloom Tomatoes|
The Marvel Stripe tomato is named for the “marvelous” stripes that run down its skin as well as its interior flesh. The largest of bi-colored heirloom tomatoes, these thin-skinned tomatoes can weigh in at one to two pounds and grow to four inches in diameter. Their exterior is deep orange and streaked in thin, blood red strips, and their juicy flesh is colored with the same orange and red of its skin, and is also marbled in white. The Marvel Stripe has a scarce number of seeds, a flat deeply ribbed shape, and a flavor that is smooth, bright, and sweet. The indeterminate or vining tomato plant produces heavy yields of the large fruit along sprawling vines that can grow to six feet, and will continue to set fruit throughout the season.
Marvel Stripe tomatoes are available in season during summer and fall.
Tomatoes are botanically termed Solanum lycopersicum, formerly Lycopersicon esculentum, and are a member of the nightshade, or Solanaceae, family, along with other common plants such as sweet peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Marvel stripes are classified as “beefsteak” tomatoes due to their large size and hearty flavor. They are also known as slicers, as their size and flavor lends it to simply slicing and eating raw. Like all heirlooms, Marvel Stripe is open-pollinated, meaning that saved seed will produce the same fruit as the parent. Hence, heirloom varieties can be passed down from generation to generation.
Marvel Stripe tomatoes are rich in several vitamins, including vitamin C, which is especially present in the tomato’s pulp, vitamin K, which aids in bone strength, and vitamin A, which helps keeps the body’s immune system running properly. Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene, which has been studied in connection with the prevention of certain types of cancer.
As a beefsteak, the Marvel Stripe tomato is best when eaten fresh, either raw or lightly cooked. The tomato has a sweet and fruity flavor, and its size and shape make it excellent for slicing and adding to salads and sandwiches. You can also feature its delicious, tangy-sweet tomato flavor in a refreshing gazpacho. If you would prefer to cook with the tomato, you can quickly sauté it with pasta or use it as a pizza topping. Pair with soft cheeses, like mozzarella, and savory herbs. Like all varieties of tomato, store Marvel Stripe at room temperature until ripe, after which refrigeration can slow the process of decay.
The Marvel Stripe tomato was first grown by the Zapotec people in Oaxaca, Mexico, in the 1800’s. Little else is known of the history of this beautifully colored tomato.
Tomatoes were first cultivated in Central America by the Aztecs around 700 C.E. When the conquistadors invaded and colonized South and Central America in the 16th century, they found tomatoes lucrative enough to bring back with them to Spain. From there, tomatoes spread throughout the continent where they were embraced by some countries and disdained by others, such as Britain, whose citizens believed the exotic fruit to be poisonous. However, the British did grow the fruit ornamentally, and so loved the fruit’s attractive qualities that they brought it with them when they crossed the Atlantic. The tomato continued to be grown for its aesthetics in America until Thomas Jefferson began cultivating it at Monticello as a food crop. Jefferson’s endorsement slowly enticed other Americans into experimenting with the tomato, eventually leading to the fruit becoming one of the most commonly grown foods in American gardens and farms. Today the tomato enjoys worldwide popularity and is grown more than any other fruit, including apples and bananas.
Recipes that include Marvel Stripe Heirloom Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.