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The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit Hardcover – August 5, 2008

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy Goldman is a passionate gardener, seed saver, and well-known advocate for heirloom fruits and vegetables. She is the author of The Compleat Squash and Melons for the Passionate Grower, and she appears frequently on such TV programs as Martha Stewart Living and Victory Gardens.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1st edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159691291X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596912915
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Hazelton on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband Dennis for our anniversary. He planted over 50 tomato plants this year and we have been enjoying some and others we made salsa and sauce from. We have been buying Heirlooms at our local farmer's market but wanted to grow some or our own. So if you are a home gardener and into growing the very best Heirloom tomatoes on your block this is the book for you. Amy Goldman has researched everything you'd want to know about Heirloom tomatoes from which are the best, what types are available and which do well in certain areas. She's done all the work for you. There is information on taste, color and the various types of tomatoes so that you can grown tomatoes to match your tast palate. And she's included recipes as well. Another great thing about this book is the seed guide in the back which are divided by states and there are several to choose from. This is by far the quintessential book on Heirloom Tomatoes.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By RM McGee on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Amy Goldman so captures the magic of heirloom tomatoes the reader almost inhales that distinct summer fragrance with every turn of the page. Each tomato has a carefully researched history and sometimes even a romance shared with the reader. I especially value the detailed notes on each variety for sweetness, flavor, texture and general growing information.
Victor Schrager's tomato photographs are extraordinary and used lavishly throughout the book. This is a book to share and show every friend who gardens or enjoys good food. And, yes, there are some fine recipes included.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is all that it claims. For those wanting to grow heirloom tomatoes, it can be confusing as to which have the attributes one is seeking (sweet taste, good for sauce, good for munching, etc.) This book takes the mystery out of heirloom tomatoes with great descriptions of each tomato's attributes. The book also has beautiful photographs of each tomato so it is easy to visualize how they would appear in the garden. Finally, there is an extensive list of seed sources.

Great book--well worth the money.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robin Anthony Elliott Tomatophile on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Heirloom Tomato, Amy Goldman's new book on everyone's favorite fruit-vegetable, is an eye-popping , mouth-watering delight. On page after delicious page, the 258-page book provides offers up a cornucopia of history, etymology, botanical description and elegant, taste-teasing recipes, all of it served up through elegant writing and erudite scholarship, and ornamented richly with Victor Schrager's magnificent photographs.

My only regret is that the book is so pretty that it is hard to imagine abusing it in the two settings - the kitchen, and the garden -- in which it will surely find its highest and best use. Despite all the elegance, the publisher (Bloomsbury) has managed to keep the base price of the book at a very modest $35.

Robin Anthony Elliott, Tomatophile
New York City

August 26, 2008
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joan Dye Gussow on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
To say that Amy Goldman's The Heirloom Tomato is a stunningly beautiful book is, for anyone familiar with Goldman's earlier masterworks on squash and melons, merely to state the obvious. But the tomato which is, as the subtitle indicates, "the world's most beautiful fruit," turns out to be an incomparable seductress of the camera. Any reader who settles, however, for making this a coffee-table book and neglects a serious engagement with the text will have missed at least half the delight. The pleasure begins with photographer Victor Schrager's loving description of how these luscious photos were set up and Amy's surprising story of her life-long link to tomatoes including a cousin Tillie who brought Italy's famous San Mazano (see page 137) to America. Then--after the instructions for growing them yourself, and some help in understanding shapes, colors, flavors, textures, foliage and the like--come the tomato portraits, each accompanied by any technical detail you might need to know, plus a bit of absorbing history personal or otherwise. The recipes that end the book are, as you would expect, about celebrating these fruits for their versatility and flavor as well as their looks. A glorious book. Joan Dye Gussow
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Plantholt on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Books are some of the greatest treasures we have in this life. Few, if any, other objects have the universal ability to make us laugh, to make us cry, to entertain us, to inspire us and to teach us. Fictional literature, the art of storytelling, entertains, inspires and sometimes teaches us by making us laugh, cry, think and appreciate. Non-fiction literature serves a different purpose. Its focus is to teach or inform us. Exceptional non-fiction literature teaches and informs us in an entertaining way which inspires us and causes us to think and to be appreciative.

Amy Goldman's books are some of the best non-fiction literature created in the fledgling 21st century, and with her newest book, The Heirloom Tomato, she has demonstrated that her skills as a writer, researcher and gardener are only becoming more refined. In my opinion, The Heirloom Tomato is the best book ever written on the tomato.

For more than 6 years now Ms. Goldman has collaborated with Victor Schrager, an accomplished photographer with exceptional talent. During the process of creating three extraordinary books on three of America's most beloved fruits and vegetables, these two have forged a partnership which allows them to communicate to their readers with a singleness of purpose that I have never encountered in any other literary partnership. Undoubtedly inspired by Amy's passion, her years of meticulous research and the abundance from her extensive trial gardens, Victor has created photographs which communicate to the reader the beauty, delicacy, even sensuality of these fruits and vegetables and, in some cases, the images are so exceptional you can almost recall the fragrance and the flavor.
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