A devoted crowd gathered for the 14th annual Bradford Research Center Tomato Festival on Thursday, Sept. 6. Rainy weather didn’t stop that crowd from tasting tomatoes, peppers and salsa throughout the evening.
There were around 220 varieties of tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos for guests to taste.
“This is always a fun event, and we appreciate everyone who braved the weather to join us,” said Andrew Biggs, superintendent of the Bradford Research Center. “It’s a great sign when there are so few tomatoes left at the end of the event.”
A huge variety of tomatoes was available for tasting under Bradford’s outdoor pavilion. Guests tasted as many varieties as they wanted and rated each of those varieties. A near-by tent was home to several peppers, ranging from mild to some of the hottest in the world. Guests could once again rate the peppers.
“Gathering the tasting results and reviewing that data is very interesting,” Biggs said. “It seems like there are always a few that are fan favorites and a few that don’t fare as well. The pepper tent is fun to watch because of the reactions to the hottest peppers.”
The Tomato Festival also featured milk tasting from Shatto Milk. There were a handful of fun flavors for guests to taste.
Another station offered attendees a chance to taste five different but similar salsas. The varieties contained the same base ingredients – a different tomato was used in each, however. The five salsas went from mild to spicy.
“Research specialist Steven Kirk prepared the salsas for the event,” Biggs said. “I think our guests were surprised how different each salsa tasted, even with such a slight change in each one.”
Biggs led Research Center tours throughout the event. There were also educational presentations inside the John Poehlmann Educational Center during the evening.
For a closer look at the Bradford Research Center Tomato Festival, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157701075220235/with/29596892187/.