August is THE month for the best, the tastiest, the reddest, the juiciest of tomatoes.
Here in the Assos region, those from the tarla or fields around Çanakkale are the ones most available and well-deservedly considered the best. In the pazars, they cost an unbelievable 1 lira per kilo, almost given away.
So what have I been doing?
Bottling them, as I do every year! But this year I realised that half of my jars are still in Istanbul so I have only done about 23 from 15 kilos. But I’ll buy some more tomatoes when we return and finish the job once home.
Here’s the link to my post about how to do this: I refer to it every time!
We set off to Ayvacık last week to buy our kilos of tomatoes with this project in mind – I always buy them in lots of 10 kilos, 1 or 2 plastic bags full, but just out of the house, I spied a truck filled to capacity with crates and crates of the things! So it seemed like a good idea to buy them there and then and to leave them at home before proceeding to the market.
Tomatoes in this region are so plentiful, I think there should be a tomato festival to celebrate this glorious abundance! Imagine! prizes for the tastiest salça, the biggest tomato, the best producer etc! Limitless!
So don’t delay: buy your tomatoes NOW and do whatever you want to do with them: bottle them like I do, make tomato paste or sauce. It really is worth the effort! In winter whenever I open a jar to make a typical yemek, that smell takes me right back to the open blue skies and sunshine of our summer in Assos.