Tomato season is almost here! If you’re lucky enough to live in a Portuguese community you probably have already tasted Portuguese Heirloom tomatoes. I grew up eating these tomatoes which my parents called “Bull Heart Tomatoes” planted every year in their backyard garden.
Nothing compares to them which of course means, that I have to carry on the tradition with my own family. Here are some photos of my tomato crop.
We’re lucky enough to have a Portuguese neighbor that grows them from seed and sells the plants ready to transplant for a ridiculous price of 3/$1.00!
But don’t worry if you don’t live in a Portuguese community. The tomatoes are very popular now, and there are many online sites that sell the seeds. Visit the links at the bottom of this post for more information.
Here are some popular varieties. Please note that these links are for informational purposes. I can not give warranty to the product or the availability on these websites.
DaCosta’s Portuguese Tomato
A regular leaf plant with high yield of huge ribbed pink beefsteaks that are mostly round, 1 lb+, similar to variety called Joe’s (Portuguese), but with slightly larger and more ribbed fruits. This tomato is not always the delicious tomato you have described though. It tends to mature earlier than the others and is unpredictable in taste. (http://gianttomatoseeds.com/tomato_seeds.html)
A regular leaf, large pink fruits 12-16 oz, round ribbed beefsteak shape, good flavor, meaty with few seeds. 80 days, indet., regular leaf, 8-18 oz pink beefsteak fruit, excellent flavor, high yield. http://www.doublehelixfarms.com/joes-portuguese
Michael’s Portuguese Monster
Growing up to 4.5 pounds, you’ll have to put this next one on a full size platter:regular leaf, very large fruits to 3 lbs, original seed said to have come from 4.5 lb fruit, from M. Johnson, Loule Market, northern Portugal 2006.
Neves Azorean Red
Tony Neves and his family immigrated from the Portuguese island of the Azores and settled in the Boston area. The family brought with them their prized family heirloom tomato seeds. (http://www.tomatogrowers.com/NEVES-AZOREAN-RED/productinfo/4484/)
Gran’s Portuguese Neighbour
The most widely grown heart shaped tomatoes in Portugal. They grow medium to large pink blunt heart shaped fruits, excellent flavor. It typically weighs under one pound. From wikipedia: regular leaf, high yield of medium size pink hearts with blunt end, some fruits are slightly ribbed, excellent balanced tomato flavor, do not let it get overripe as the fruit quality quickly deteriorates; very few seeds, especially in early fruits, 6-12 oz.
Portuguese Heirloom Tomato and Chick Pea Salad
1 can Chick Peas
2 large Portuguese tomatoes (or any meaty variety)
1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped olives
1 – 2 tbsp Olive oil
1 – 2 tbsp Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Crumbled Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, farmers cheese
Suggestion: You may also add; chopped hard boiled eggs or canned tuna for a different Portuguese flavor!
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!