Farmers' Market Blog • Talking Smack on Tomatoes


~ from Alicia, Countryside Public Market Site Manager

Tomatoes sure received a rotten first impression in this world! Did you know that when they were first discovered they were believed to be poisonous and were only eaten by peasants? Later on, tomatoes were thrown at people as a sign of disrespect. It wasn’t until The Civil War that tomatoes grew in popularity and became a staple in homes due to their canning characteristics! Alright, the invention of pizza also helped.

Fortunately, tomatoes today are celebrated around the globe and incorporated into regular daily cuisine. Their versatility lends them to a variety of cultural dishes full of flavor!

Try one of the popular dishes below to begin your taste exploration around the world!

  • Iran: Mirza ghasemi • eggplant and tomato dish
  • China : Tomato Beef • a simple stir-fry with beef and thick wedges of tomato in an oyster-flavored sauce
  • France: Ratatouille • stewed vegetable dish featuring tomatoes, eggplant and squash
  • North Africa: Chakchouka • eggs in tomato sauce dish can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
  • Greece: Tomatokeftedes • fried Santorini tomato balls
  • Mexico: SALSA fresca!!! • a delicious blend of fresh tomatoes, garlic, lime, onions and other ingredients such as fresh fruit or vegetables.

Mouth watering yet? Well, you’re in luck! Countryside will be hosting a Tomato Tasting event at both the Highland Square market on Thursday and The Countryside Public Market on Sunday. Come sample a variety of fresh, local tomatoes and enter your best salsa in our Salsa Smackdown contest to compete for bragging rights and a Countryside cutting board - handcrafted by Darbynwoods Find Woodworking & engraved with the Countryside chicken!

To enter, please label your salsa with name, phone number and a list of ingredients. ***Local ingredients strongly encouraged.

For Highland Square: On 8/8/19 bring your salsa to the market by 4:30pm, judging to begin at 5pm, winner announced (and salsa sampling!) at 5:30pm. 

For Countryside Public Market: On 8/11/19 bring your salsa to the market by 11:00am, judging to begin at 11:30am, winner announced (and salsa sampling!) at 12:00pm. Guest judges will be Executive Chef, Nico Chesnick from Barrio Tacos and Berry Bash Pie winner, Ketie Mertz!

Don’t forget our largest Tomato Tasting at Howe Meadow on 8/10/19 with over 60+ verities to sample.*Please note, Salsa Smackdown will only be at Highland Square and The Public Market!

See you at the market!