Michigan Tomatoes: The Six Varieties You Need to Taste
Whether you say to-may-to or to-mah-to, you can’t deny that grown-in-Michigan tomatoes are delicious! Lots of different varieties can grow quickly and abundantly here, which begs the question: Which kind of tomato is the tastiest? August is actually the perfect time to do your own taste test, since tomatoes grow the best during hot months. Here are a few of the best varieties to try:
- Beefsteak: This super common hybrid tomato grows well in Michigan. You can find them in most local grocery stores or grow them in your own garden on a caged trellis. They can get really big and are perfect for slicing to top your favorite sandwich.
- Roma: Roma tomatoes are about the size of your fist and look oval. They are perfect for canning or turning into sauces. They grow for about two months during the summer, so they’re prime for purchase between June and August.
- Grape and Cherry: These small tomatoes are shaped like the fruits they’re named after and can be tangy or sweet. They grow in clusters and are great as small plants for your deck or patio. Just be sure birds don’t get to them first!
- Heirloom: Heirloom tomatoes grow colorfully (they can be striped, yellow and even purple) and are known for their deep flavor. A few Michigan varieties of heirloom tomatoes are known as Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Oxheart, Rutgers and Amish paste. They are so flavorful that you can serve them with just some olive oil and sea salt.
- Big Boy: Another hybrid tomato, these classic round reds grow well in hot temperatures and deep, moist soil. Slice them up to top burgers or just toss wedges of them into salads.
- Yellow Pear: These bite-sized yellow tomatoes are (surprise!) shaped like a pear, only much smaller. They’re known for their mild to sweet flavor and are ideal for pickling or preserving.
See Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Spokesperson Chuck Gaidica check out the delicious Michigan tomatoes available at the Northville Farmers Market in the video below.
Tomatoes aren’t the only thing grown in Michigan. Check out these blogs to learn more about local Michigan produce:
- 5 Things You Didn’t Know Michigan Grows Better Than Most States
- The Month-by-Month Guide for When to Eat Michigan Produce
- The Health Benefits of Michigan Summer Berries
Photo credit: Jeremy Keith