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When and where for Heirloom Tomatoes?

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This is my first summer in Manhattan ever, and coming from upstate New York I'm totally in love with heirloom tomatoes.

Can anyone help me? My guess is that farmer's markets in Manhattan are the spots to try, especially the one at Union Square. If there are any other thoughts (either stores that are great for them or particular farmer's markets) that would be fantastic.

Also any ideas when I should be on the lookout for them? In upstate NY it was really not until mid July. Different here?

Finally, my understanding of the current tomato salmonella situation is that it is more limited to commercial tomatoes and that since heirloom tend to be small/family farm grown, there is no more risk of salmonella (or anything else) than usual. Can anyone confirm?

Thanks so much!

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  1. I moved upstate from NYC a couple years ago, and until then I got my fix at the farmer's markets, particularly the market in Union Square. The earliest tomatoes come in from NJ and I don't think they're quite ready yet, but the weather's been garden-perfect, so there should be an amazing crop this year. Start looking in a week or two, and the markets will have them until first frost, whenever that might be.

    The best heirlooms I've had from the markets are the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, which are round (not pear-shaped), a lovely soft orange color and so sweet you almost can't believe you're eating a tomato; and brandywines, which are more of a beefsteak size and vary in color from a pinky-red to a striated green and deep pink. Enjoy!