What Heirloom Veggie Varieties are Your Favorites in the Kitchen?

| 1/14/2010 8:49:53 AM

Tags: heirlooms, cooking,

Do you use ‘Aji Limo’ peppers because they make the best hot salsa? Do you think ‘Music’ is the best garlic variety for roasting? If you’ve been storing up culinary wisdom about heirloom foods, now’s the time to let it out! Share your favorite culinary heirlooms with our readers and each other here.

roslyn phipps_1
4/16/2010 9:26:41 AM

My husband I tried some heirloom tomatoes for the first time last year and were wonderfully surprised. Our favorites were the Mortgage Lifter and Eva Purple Ball.

3/27/2010 12:17:33 PM

Rosa Bianca eggplant. Unlike the black varieties, this one has no bitterness, just a lovely nutty flavor. Its color is lavender and white.

2/26/2010 1:25:01 PM

Last year was my first big experience with heirlooms in the garden and I'm hooked ... I agree, the Long Island Cheese pumpkins tasted great and were easy to process. 2 plants yielded over 10 pumpkins to use. Having saved plenty of L.I.Cheese seeds for future use I am going to try Connecticut Field pumpkins this year. And I liked the purple streak on the Rattlesnake beans too along with their flavor. Tried some Thai Okra, but I had never had okra before and I wasn't impressed. We grew several varieties of tomatoes, egg yolk, green zebra, yellow pear, Cherokee purple. We had some hybrid beefsteak tomatoes which did absolutely awful while the heirlooms did great! I think my latest list has 9 varieties and 7 colors of tomatoes for this next year. Has anyone checked out heirloomseeds.com? I started purchasing from them last year and have had great germination rates. No flashy catalogue, but low shipping rates and lots of success with them. Looking forward to expanding my heirlooms this year with fun colors like black radishes, red and white beets and white tomatoes. I'm going to try new things like kohlrabi, kale and brussel sprouts this year. I really enjoy the varieties that heirlooms seem to offer online and in the catalogues over the hybrid choices at the local store. And if I can manage it right and save some seeds to use for next year even better!

2/20/2010 6:43:55 AM

We have been growing with heirloom seeds for 11 years, mainly tomatoes. We agree you should mix in some hybrids, so in the unpredictable weather you'll end up with something to harvest. We love Baker Creek and seed savers. Bakers Creek has the best winter squash and melon selections we know of.Thelma Sanders sweet potato{winter squash} was prolific even in last years terrible growing season here in the North East. our big adventure this year will be a variety of heirloom pole beans watch for pictures and updates thru out the season here http://schoolhousefarms.blogspot.com Good Luck to everyone growing!

2/12/2010 5:39:51 PM

Brandywine Tomatoes are the very best. I also highly recommend Straight Eight Cucumbers. They make the best pickles.

1/29/2010 4:44:00 PM

I love Cherokee Purple tomatoes because they taste so delicious, and Striped German tomatoes because they are so beautiful (they taste good, too!) I love Long Island Cheese pumpkins because they make wonderful pie (although most of the time I make more of a custard--pumpkin pie without the crust, in a big rectangular baking pan). I love rattlesnake pole beans because the purple stripes on the pods make it easier to find the beans. The purple goes away when you cook them.

1/29/2010 1:40:28 PM

Just this past year I learned about heirloom vegetables and decided to grow a garden full od them.I ordered a ton from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.I have never started everything from seed and realized I need to build a greenhouse.If anyone has any info on growing heirlooms please let me know becaose I am a novice to thhem but not regular gardening.Thanks...

1/18/2010 2:59:08 AM

Amish Pie Pumpkin from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Prolific, tasty and excellent storing/freezing quality.

1/16/2010 3:34:43 PM

Scarlet runner beans. If I could easily buy them commercially, I probably wouldn't eat any other kind of legume. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to harvest and save the seeds for the following year.

1/15/2010 9:47:15 PM

Cabbage- Early Jersey Wakefield: They are early and diesase resistent Carrot- Chateney Long type, Demi Rouge and Tonda di Pargi: they are both great and both can grow in my heavy clay soil Corn: Golden Bantam: Early, short, gives two ears and has a classic corn taste Beans: Kentucky Wonder, great taste Brocolli: De Cicco: Early, small and gives many sideshoots Lettuce: Tom Thumb and Oakleaf: both are easy to grow and taste good Tomatoes: Stupice: classic tomato taste Peas: Sugar Snap Pole: easy to grow, taste great Radish: French Breakfast: mild taste, fast growing Spinach: Bloomsdale: Slow to bolt Cucumbers: Straight Eight: really good

1/15/2010 12:00:59 PM

Purple Russian Tomato-- A great sauce tomato, Purple Russians have that special flavor that is to die for. I could easily give up red tomatoes all together.

1/15/2010 10:40:20 AM

We mixed Scarlet Nantes carrots in with our usual orange heirloom varieties in 2009 and they turned out to be the sweetest carrots we've ever tasted. They grew long, thick and sturdy, maintained their scarlet/purple skin when cooked and lasted in the garden under staw bales throughout the winter for continuous harvesting. As much as we usually like to plant a couple of varieties, we might just plant all Scarlet Nantes in 2010! The flavor is incomparable!

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