Tuesday, May 8, 2007

UglyRipe tomatoes

Santa Sweets, a tomato grower in Plant City, Florida, won a court battle this past January to be able to market an heirloom hybrid tomato called UglyRipe outside of Florida. The UglyRipe had not been allowed to show its face outside Florida because the state's Tomato Committee (there's a committee for everything, isn't there?) declared that the tomato just didn't measure up to their beauty standards and was thus ruining Florida's reputation for pretty tomatoes (?!?).

This has now been resolved and the UglyRipe can be sold in grocery stores--including Whole Foods--outside Florida. However at the moment UglyRipes may be hard to find because, with all the hoopla about them, the growers are having trouble keeping up with the demand.

From all accounts--and I have not been able to find one myself--the UglyRipe may be ugly, but it is extremely tasty. The same grower also sells Santa Sweet grape tomatoes, and if they are any indication, I can't wait to actually get my hands on an UglyRipe. In any case, Florida stops shipping tomatoes out of state by June 15, so we still have a couple of weeks to see if we can locate the elusive UglyRipe.

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