Winter's hard for producers like us. Mainly because we deal with regional tomatoes and right now the North East is C-O-L-D! Not ideal weather for growing tomatoes. Tomatoes like the heat (dry and salty air with lots of sunlight ideally). This is why some of the best tomatoes come from Southern Italy, Central America (where tomatoes were born), Spain, Turkey, S. California and the North Fork on LI. (I also hear Israel has some great tomatoes too. I would guess it's because it's located in the sunny Mediterranean. Did I miss a country?) These are all geographical points where the best of the best are cultivated. Bar none! Our plan next season is to work with more regional (and coastal) farms so we can preserve more amazing tomatoes to make more delicious products. Right now, however, we'll use what we've preserved from summer as well as local hothouses to help us get through the brutal winter months. Always top quality though and ONLY Nonna-approved!

This week's recipe -- Spanish Rice with Lots of Tomatoes -- pays homage to the birthplace of the almighty tomato: Central America. Story goes that the Spanish conquistadors of Mesoamerica brought these exotic fruits back to Europe in the early part of the 16th century where they were not received well at all until much later. Not until the ingenious agriculturalists of Southern Italy get their hands on these foreign fruits do we get what is now the world-famous San Marzano tomato (and many others). Born right under Mount Vesuvius on the Mediterranean sea! A plum-style variety that is absolutely perfect for canning and sauce making because of its meatiness containing very little water and seeds. This is why we only use plum-style varieties for our sauces and condiments. It just works. 

Check out our farmers market calendar for January dates. 

See you WednesdayFriday or Saturday this week at Union Square Greenmarket.