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Massachusetts Tomato Contest to be held Tuesday, August 21, in Boston

  • Tomato trophies to be awarded to the winners of the 34th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest. Submitted photo


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

BOSTON — The 34th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held in the Kitchen at the Boston Public Market on Tuesday, August 21. Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Always a lively and fun event, the day is designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce.

Farmers who want to submit entries can bring tomatoes to the market between 9 and 10:45 a.m. on August 21 or drop their entries off with a registration form to one of the drop off locations on August 20. Drop off locations include sites in Amherst, Northboro, Topsfield and North Easton. These tomatoes will be brought in to Boston on Tuesday.

Judging of tomatoes by panel of experts will begin at 11 a.m. and presentation of awards will follow a 1 o’clock.

Tomato Contest Criteria

Flavor: 10 points possible. The perfect tomato should have a strong tomato taste, be slightly acidic, juicy and fresh tasting with a tender skin.

Firmness/Slicing Quality: 5 points possible. A desirable tomato should have a dense uniform thick wall with many seed cavities, completely filled with a jelly-like mass. The firmness of the tomato should be pleasing, not too mushy and not too hard. It should be such that it will bruise if dropped, yet is not over-ripe.

Exterior Color: 5 points possible. The winning tomato has a uniform color, is free of green shoulders and has no evidence of blotchy ripening or other defects.

Shape: 5 points possible. Tomatoes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the variety. Their shape should be symmetrical, but most important, the tomatoes in each entry should be uniform in size.

PRIZES: First, second, and third place tomato trophies will be awarded in all four categories. 

Top 5 certificates will also be given in each category.

The 34th Annual Tomato Contest is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets in cooperation with the Boston Public Market and The Trustees.

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