I Said I Want A Second Opinion

Boy, are they ugly tomatoes. I was picking a few from our veggie patch last season, and with a name like Rouge de Marmande, you would expect them to look glorious. Aristocratic, even noble, perfectly formed, symmetrical, evenly coloured. But no, this variety of tomato is real ugly. They vary in shape from elliptical to drum-shaped to ugly. They

Rouge de Marmande tomatoes, Wiki Commons, Alpha, Flickr

are called ribbed by the experts, another way of saying they have deep irregular grooves, ingrained with dirt and cobwebs, and ugly. The colour can best be described as variegated, yep,  another word for ugly. So, why do we grow them. They are a cool-climate fruit. We live in an elevated position nearly at the southernmost part of mainland Australia, and the winds blow off the Southern Ocean most of the time. Yep, cool climate. In fact, our weather parameters are the same as Launceston in Tasmania. And the Rouge de Marmande thrive in this climate. They also have a very thick skin. Resistant to insults when I call them ugly, and incidentally resistant to disease. And, you know, they taste terrific. We love them. They may not have the contours of a Grosse Lisse or a Roma, but if you are in a similar climate, get a tub and grow them. Our first reaction on seeing them was “Grow these funny looking things? You have to be crazy!” But as the late and great Rodney Dangerfield said: “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said OK, you’re ugly too“…..

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