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Farm-Fresh Tomatoes*

There’s probably no fruit or vegetable more eagerly awaited than a juicy, ripe summer tomato. To get the most variety, Schnucks partners with a number of local, family-owned farms including Pin Oak Farms in New Haven, and Thies Farm and Greenhouses located in Maryland Heights and St. Louis.

Located 60 miles west of St. Louis, Pin Oak Farms produces several varieties of tomatoes, including Roma and Florida 91, which is an American hybrid seed. Of their 160-acre farm, eight acres are dedicated to tomatoes, which reach their peak harvest during the month of July. Pin Oak Farms also supplies other fresh summer produce to Schnucks including sweet corn, peppers and cucumbers.

Thies Farm and Greenhouses, with two locations in the greater St. Louis area, has been growing fresh produce on 160 acres since 1885. Owned and operated by the seventh generation of the family, 16 acres of tomato plants produce an assortment of tomatoes, including Romas, cherry and over ten varieties of heirloom tomatoes. The typical tomato harvest begins early July and can continue for up to four additional harvests until the autumn freeze arrives.

Here are some of the mouthwatering tomato varieties we offer, straight from these local farms, along with tips for choosing the best tomato for any recipe.

Cherry and grape varieties offer sweet bursts of flavor in bite-sized packages. Broil cherry tomatoes and stir in chopped basil for a quick pasta sauce, or pack grape tomatoes as a healthy on-the-go snack.

Romas
Oval-shaped Romas are the tomato to select for sauces or other cooked dishes. They are fleshier and contain less water, resulting in thicker, richer sauces. Romas are also a great choice for topping pizza or bruschetta.

Tomatoes on the Vine
A great year-round option, tomatoes harvested on the vine tend to have a fuller flavor and a deeper red color indicating a riper fruit. Use these small, juicy tomatoes in salads or sandwiches.

Heirloom Varieties
Heirloom tomatoes, in hues from bright yellow to dark purplish-green, encompass varieties bred from old strains of seeds that have not been raised for traits such as pest resistance or sturdiness. Because of this, these tomatoes tend to be delicate and sell at a premium price, but their exquisite taste can be worth the splurge. Available in select Schnucks and Logli stores, prepare them as simply as possible to fully appreciate their unique flavors.

Beefsteaks
Beefsteaks are the big daddy of the tomato kingdom; as their name suggests, they’re the sturdiest, meatiest tomato on the block. Choose beefsteaks if you’re looking for big, thick slices that can stand up to your summer burger (and be large enough to cover the bun) or eat them on their own, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt for a divine summer salad.

*(Click here or Download the pdf for the companion recipe)