I usually buy heirloom tomatoes at Delicious Orchards, but I haven’t been going down there lately. Wegmans carries them, but they’ve had little in the way of variety, and the few I’ve tried were disappointing. Battleview doesn’t have any.
Last week, on a thread about heirlooms on Chowhound, someone posted that there was a good variety at the Clayton Family Farm, in Freehold. I’d never heard of this farm before. The poster helpfully provided a link to the website where I found its location: on Route 537 West, a mile past CentraState Hospital.
On Friday, I went to the Clayton Farm. Wow! That person was right. So many kinds of heirlooms to choose from! Delicious Orchard’s selection pales in comparison. Each variety was in its own bin with a label providing the name, origin and description. $3 per pound is, I think, a very fair price. I picked out half a dozen. There were regular red and yellow tomatoes as well, so I bought a few of those. There was also a nice selection of cherry tomatoes, but I didn’t buy any.
We started dinner on Friday with a salad of the heirlooms. I kept things simple – a very light sprinkling of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and a trickle of extra-virgin olive oil. For lunch yesterday, to make it a main course salad, I added some fresh mozzarella.
Those heirlooms totally bowled us over. Exceptionally juicy and packed with mellow tomato-y flavor, they were fabulous! Far superior to any I’ve ever gotten from Delicious Orchards.
Yesterday afternoon, I went back to get more and included a box of heirloom purple cherry tomatoes. Never seen anything like those before. Can’t wait to taste them.
To see all the photos I took at the Clayton Farm, click here.