Today we attended the 7th annual Tomato Festival at the Arboretum.
Although the festival was small, it was packed full of things to taste, activities for kids, mini lectures on cooking, growing tomatoes, tomato diseases, and other relevant topics. It was only $2 a person and we got to sample food from several local places including Azur, Whole Foods, and Smashing Tomato.
I don’t have a cooking challenge in this post, but I wanted to share this food related event with readers. We had the opportunity to try…
Bread, cheese, tomato, and bacon appetizers
Tomato and Mango Smoothies
Crusty bread with tomatoes, relish, and herbs
Smash Sauce (Spicy!)
And a Candied Cherry Tomato
And although we didn’t get to try it, we were given a recipe for spicy tomato jam that I am excited to try making.
In between all of the tomatoey goodness, we explored the Arboretum a bit. I hate to admit it, but we’ve lived here for 3 years and had not really taken our time to look around there. It is a beautiful place littered with art and interesting things. For example, we saw a flying bird sculpture and a bottle tree. We learned a little about the history of bottle trees as ways that evil spirits were caught and destroyed.
We also visited the rose garden. I LOVE rose gardens.
We were able to sample a lot of different varieties that I’d never heard of like black pear tomatoes, sun gold tomatoes, and rocky top tomatoes. I so rarely eat tomatoes plain and raw that I really could taste major differences in them. All of the heirloom varieties reminded me of my eggplant and heirloom tomato lasagna.
Overall, it was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon, learn a little more about food, and support local events.