Jul 12, 2022 - Food and Drink

Time for Richmond to celebrate the tomato

A billon little cherry tomatoes
Real Hanover tomatoes. Image courtesy of Village Garden

It's officially tomato season in Virginia. That means it's time to get out the Duke's mayo, celebrate locally grown tomatoes and feast on the fruit that the Supreme Court legally declared a vegetable.

What makes our local tomatoes special: Soil is the unverified lore. Central Virginia, and Hanover County soil specifically, with its mix of sand, Virginia red clay, dirt and (probably) tears, gives our legally declared vegetable its bright color and vibrant flavor, growers say.

  • And the next two weeks are filled with tomato celebrations and events where you can taste for yourself.

The Hanover Tomato Festival — the granddaddy of our local tomato love, now in its 44th year — takes place Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon at Pole Green Park.

  • Admission is free, and there will be tomatoes for sale, plus tomato-themed dishes.

The Summer Supper Somm series from Village Garden (Hanover tomato growers, duh) and Barboursville Vineyards is back for a second year (technically it started June 28).

  • The event is a series of wine and Hanover tomato-themed, prix fixe dinners at some of the hottest restaurants in Richmond.
  • There are about three a week, every week through Aug. 18. This week's events are at Lillie Pearl, Heritage and The Roosevelt.

Need more tomatoes? Of course you do. Next Monday kicks off with Duke Mayonnaise's week-long Hot Tomato Summer — a celebration of tomatoes and mayo.

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