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Jul 8, 2012 11:10 AM

Good Maryland tomatoes..

When should we expect to see the best of maryland tomatoes.. Im talking about the ones big enough for a sandwich on their own.. Ive had a few from Georgia and South Carolina.. but they just arent the same.. So i was wondering when i should start looking, and if anyone knows where the best places to get them.. I live in the Baltimore/ Glen Burnie area.. i appreciate any help.. thanks!!!

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  1. Around the beginning of August, I would expect.

    1. I'm outside of Philadelphia and we have gorgeous large tomatoes available up at the farm stand.

      However, I was attracted to this post as my dad - a director of quality control for a major food chain - used to take regular business excursions (4x / year) to a cannery in Hurlock, MD where they packed tomato products all summer. When on school vacation, he'd often take me along. The aroma of huge vats of cooking tomatoes for juice, soup, ketchup, etc. is indelible. And to go out into the fields with the production manager to watch the harvest in the sandy soil of the eastern shore and bite into one of the behemoth tomatoes was just as memorable. We'd bring home several and a favorite treat was having one chilled, thick-sliced on white bread with mayo, salt and fresh pepper. With a hunk of cold watermelon and a fresh iced tea with mint to compliment the perfect sandwich, that makes my summer.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Chefpaulo

        that is exactly how i eat my sandwich.. but i also use Season-All.. there is something about the way those tomatoes taste from that area.. and yes the tomato has to me chilled.. ive seen family members go without the bread and just season the tomato and a spoon full of mayo on each piece of tomato.. HEAVEN.. and i cant wait to find them..

        1. re: Chefpaulo

          Yum, that's exactly how I like my tomato sandwiches. You have some great memories there.

          1. re: Transplanted Texan

            Now just for a nice freshly fried soft crab a bit of iceberg lettuce and plain old white bread...Koesters maybe??? or Rice's?
            In the Glen Burnie area try Papa Johns near New Cut Rd...

            1. re: Transplanted Texan

              T' Texan: Yes I have many great memories, but they're also tempered with the "spirit of the time."
              My trips to Hurlock with dad were between 1958 and 1964. Great tomatoes but lots of uncomfortable diversity vibes. I felt them even them.
              Let us all appreciate how times have changed.

              1. re: Chefpaulo

                That's even better than Proust's memories of a madelaine

                1. re: tartuffe

                  I'll take a Maryland-grown 'mater sandwich over a poofy little French cookie any day.

                    1. re: tartuffe

                      Great thread. Totally agree on mater samwiches. They are the best. I am going to make my own mayo this year to go with mine. FWIW, my wife's garden is several weeks from producing tomatoes.

            2. re: Chefpaulo

              Chilled? To me, that is a sacrilege. I grew up in NJ where the tomatoes are terrific and we
              never refrigerated them - it dulls the taste and ruins the texture.

              1. re: ferventfoodie

       is unrefrigerated beer to the overwhelming majority on this side of the pond. Storing and serving were two different operations in my childhood home. Tomatoes were always ripened on the kitchen window sill and put into the fridge a few hours before serving. On a steamy mid-August day, nothing was more treasured than the chilled 'maters on white bread w/ mayo, iced mint tea or fresh squeezed lemonade (also chilled) and equally well-chilled watermelon. All of the aforementioned may present a different bouquet at room temperature but I'll take all of mine chilled. But, then, I also enjoy a slight chill on my reds as long as they have been decanted. To each his/her own.

                1. re: ferventfoodie

                  A lot of us in Maryland don't refrigerate tomatoes either.

              2. It sounds as if you're talking about Brandywine tomatoes. Can't speak for farmers, but the 8 Brandywine vines in my own garden (N. Potomac MD) have a few more weeks to go; they're still only the size of my fist and green. The San Marzano plum tomatoes are in various stages; some are just starting to get red. So you might be able to find some nice plum tomatoes.

                Your local farmers' market should have some now, especially Early Girl, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Transplanted Texan

                  I got some beautiful, locally grown tomatoes at the Rockville farmers' market on Sat. for $2.50/lb. I got a Cherokee Purple and one I think might be a Marvel Stripe, each weighing a pound. Made the best BLT when I got home.

                  Brandywines are my favorites to grow, but I couldn't plant this year.

                2. There is a farm stand near Annapolis Mall that already has great Eastern Shore tomatoes. It is on Rt. 178 just north of the mall. Big, firm, and dark red all the way through. Corn and peaches too.

                  1. Spicknalls on Old Gunpowder Rd. Always get a case or 2 of Roma's, grill/roast them, qt. or gal. zip-locks and into the freezer. With their variety, I'm certain they'll have what you're looking for. Thick sliced Beefsteaks or heirloom, Vadalia onion, arugula, mayo, fresh ground pepper, pinch of salt (on white)...that's just pure summer...