Most tomatoes you buy in the store have been bred for commercial perfection.

Commercial Tomato

Originating in Central and South America, the humble tomato has exotic origins.  We have been farming these fruits for thousands of years and there are over a dozen wild species and countless commercial ones.

The majority of commercial tomato production is focused on appearance - in fact, the mutation that causes the uniform red colour also causes a reduction in flavour and sweetness of up to 15%!

Heirloom Varieties - Courtesy Wikipedia

If you are willing to give uniform colour, your palate will explode with the depth and variety of flavours offered by heirloom tomatoes!

Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide ranges of sizes, colours, shapes and are often catfaced.

What is catfacing?

catfacing on an heirloom tomato

With their clefts and scars, heirloom tomatoes can be at once both ugly and beautiful. Called catfacing, this scarring is perfectly safe to eat, but what causes it?

Several factors may lead to scarring, the most common being exposure to cool temperatures during pollination.

Cold weather causes catfacing.  Edmonton, and most of Alberta is a Zone 3 for gardening and our cool temperatures create the beautiful variations and scarring you see in local heirloom tomatoes!