A true heirloom tomato is a cultivar whose seeds had been nurtured, selected, and handed down from one family member to another for many generations. What allows it to maintain the heirloom name is that no genetically modified organism (GMO) can be used in its production. It conjures up an image of backyard plant grown from hard-sought seeds, of rare fruit bursting in summer's heat. (whew! that's a good one...)
Heirloom tomatoes come in many colors and varieties, and are celebrated by Italians who use it primarily for Caprese Salad, a dish of sliced heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and chiffonade basil top with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. (We sell Caprese Salad on the floor for $7.49 / pound.)
(While our Produce Dept. sells diff. varieties of heirlooms as much as $6 a pound!)
In the walk-in refrigerator section where I work, which is a little bigger than an average master's bedroom, it houses almost all the products and ingredients needed to prepare our dishes in my department (PFD.) In one section are the cheeses, in another the cooked hams, salami, prosciutto, and turkey (all charcuteries), and in another the sauces, the dressings, etc., and of course, the herbs, the fruits and vegetables. It's always a delight looking at these heirlooms because of their imperfect shapes, old-fashioned look, attractive colors and different skin designs. Not to mention imaginative names, like Brandywine Yellow, Black Krim( from the word Crimea, a place in Eastern Europe), Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, and even Mortgage Lifter.