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TASTING -- Attendees at the 2012 Tomatoes at the Trotter taste the wide diversity
of this fruit. (Image courtesy UA-Monticello)
MONTICELLO, Ark. -- The fourth annual “Tomatoes at the Trotter,” on Thursday will
light up the taste buds with culinary twists such as Georgia Streak creme brulee with
bacon, caramel and whipping cream.
Event takes place at the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s historic Trotter House
bed-and-breakfast at 404 North Main Street in Monticello.
“Tomatoes at the Trotter” works to promote awareness about heirloom tomatoes, to provide
information about newly discovered varieties of heirloom tomatoes that have not been
made known to the public and ways that these tomatoes can be used in cooking, said
Bob Stark, professor of agriculture economics for UA-Monticello and the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Southeast Research and Extension Center.
The event began as an integration of heirloom tomatoes into commercial vine-ripened
tomato operations. With more than 400 heirloom tomato varieties, the project purpose
was to get recognition among consumers and the market to grow well in the state.
“It became very popular with the community and has been attended by several VIPs such
as state representatives, state senators, mayors, county judges” and others, said
Paul Francis, professor of crop and soil science at UA-Monticello.
The event begins with heirloom tomato tasting at 6:30 p.m. There will be 15 varieties
of heirloom tomatoes available for tasting, such as the Cherokee Purple, Original
Arkansas Traveler and Moonglow. Twelve of these had not yet been publicly introduced
in Southeast Arkansas, Stark said.
The evening will also be filled with an eclectic heirloom tomato four-course menu
featuring smoked Cherokee Purple tomato and basil bisque as an appetizer and that
Georgia Streak creme brulee with bacon, caramel and whipping cream as dessert. Chef
Brian Cherry uses heirloom tomatoes as the main ingredient in each course.
“It’s a very special, very unique menu that he has put together,” Stark said.
After the dinner, Cherry will talk about the menu and the specific heirloom tomatoes
used in each course as well as why he chose them.
Featured speaker for the event is Zach Taylor, director of marketing for the Arkansas
Agriculture Department. He will discuss the growing popularity of local food sources,
keys to successful farmers markets, and how the agriculture department helps the local
communities in the state.
Tickets are $25 per person, with proceeds benefiting the UA-Monticello School of Agriculture
scholarship fund. To learn more about Tomatoes at the Trotter and to RSVP call the
school at (870) 460-1091.
For more information about tomato production and agricultural economy, visit www.uaex.uada.edu or contact your county extension office.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers its programs to all
eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age,
disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Kezia NandaCooperative Extension ServiceUA System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org