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Tomato Envy at the Farmers' Market

The Valdivia Farms stand is bursting with summer colors and flavors.

The humble little red tomato finally made its way to the  this week, cropping up at a number of stands.

“We grow tomatoes all the time, but this is when our tomatoes are really at their best,” said Martin Zermino, who runs the stand in Weho.

California produces some superior tomatoes year round thanks to hothouse growing and imported techniques, but the best are picked fresh off the vine during the summer. 

Valdivia owner Francisco Valdivia, an immigrant from Mexico, who learned farming as a young man while working in the San Diego area, credits the farm's 60 acres of manicured land near the ocean for the rich flavor of his tomatoes.

Tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. The Carlsbad-based farm boasted heirlooms—the old-fashioned varieties, Cherokee purple, Brandywine and pineapple tomatoes this week.

“These tomatoes are so full of flavor that you don’t need to add anything,” Zermino said.

sold some of the smaller cherry and grape tomatoes—perfect for a summer tomato salad. But if the heat does not faze you, try this recipe for . 

For those shopping around for tomatoes this season, there is one rule to follow: Never refrigerate a tomato. It will kill the flavor, the nutrients and the texture.

 

The West Hollywood Farmers' Market is held every Monday (rain or shine) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at , 1200 N. Vista St.

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