Solar Flare Heirloom Tomatoes
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|Food Buzz: History of Heirloom Tomatoes|
Solar Flare tomatoes are large, weighing between 6 and 10 ounces, and they have vibrant red skin with golden stripes. Their thick, red, firm yet juicy flesh offers a full-bodied sweet and tangy tomato flavor. The hardy indeterminate plants produce high yields of the large beefsteak-type fruits, which mature early and offer good scab resistance.
Solar Flare tomatoes are available early summer through fall.
Tomatoes are botanically classified as Solanum lycopersicum or Lycopersicon esculentum. They are members of the large and diverse Solanaceae family, also known as the Nightshade family, which includes more than three thousand known species. Solar Flare tomatoes are an open-pollinated variety, meaning that their seeds will produce offspring identical to the parent, and they were selected for their quality flavor, productivity, scab resistance, and early yields. All heirloom varieties like the Solar Flare are open-pollinated, but conversely, not all open-pollinated varieties are considered heirlooms.
Tomatoes are known for containing a powerful carotenoid called lycopene. This phytonutrient, which is responsible for the red color of tomatoes and other fruit, has been studied for its role in protecting against certain types of cancers, and its ability to lower cholesterol. Tomatoes are also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties, and they contain good amounts of potassium and B vitamins, which are beneficial for heart health.
Solar Flare tomatoes can be used in both raw and cooked applications. Like other beefsteak-type tomatoes, their larger size and meaty texture lends well for slicing onto sandwiches, burgers, platters, and salads. Solar Flare tomatoes can also be used to make soups, juice, paste, or chutney, and their sweet and tangy flavor stands out well in a tomato sauce. Tomatoes pair well with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, soft cheeses, avocados, olive oil, nuts, berries, stone fruits, and sweet or savory herbs, like lemon balm or oregano. Unripe tomatoes will ripen if kept at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Once ripe, refrigeration can be used to prevent further ripening and slow the process of decay. Sliced or chopped tomatoes can be wrapped or covered, then stored in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
Wild Boar Farms is based in northern California, and their goal is to breed visually stunning tomato varieties with tremendous flavor through organic and sustainable practices. Brad Gates, proprietor of Wild Boar Farms, has been growing heirloom tomatoes since 2000, developing dozens of new varieties like the Solar Flare, and supplying Bay Area restaurants and businesses with his unique tomatoes.
Solar Flare tomatoes were developed by Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms as a cross of the beauty king tomato. The plants are known to be hardy, and are an excellent choice for home gardens, even in areas with challenging climates.