Goldmans Italian American heirloom tomatoWhen I mentioned to a friend that I was waiting to see a copy of Amy Goldman’s book The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table she said she already had a copy. “It’s like pornography,” she said laughingly. Every page of this book has amazing photography by Victor Schrager, and it is indeed beautiful.

“There’s something for everyone in this book,” said Goldman by telephone on Sunday night. If you have a garden, you can use the book as a reference for what to plant. If you’re a city-dweller, you can use the book as a reference for what to buy at the farmers market. If you’re an art lover, you will appreciate the book for its asthetics and photography.

In order to write the book Goldman, who has previously written books about melons and squashes, personally grew 1000 varietals of heirloom tomatoes. She then culled the group to her 250 favorite tomatoes and created the book.

In addition to finding rare seeds and growing heirloom tomatoes, Goldman has created several tomatoes of her own. The photo above is called Goldman’s Italian American. She found the seed in Italy and named it after her father’s grocery store in Brooklyn. It’s similar to a Costoluto Genovese, a tomato you can try at the Eatwell Farm booth at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Amy will be at several locations around the Bay Area this week:

Wednesday, September 10
Location: Club Office, 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, S.F. Closest Bart: Montgomery Street Station
Time: 11:30 pm check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing
Cost: $8 members, $15 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Thursday, September 11
Location: 11793 N Micke Grove, Lodi
Time: 5:30pm

Friday, September 12
Location: 1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco
Time: 6pm – 7:30pm

Saturday, September 13
Location: 500 First Street, Napa
Time: 1pm – 2:30pm
Cost: $45

Location: Quail Lodge Resort, Carmel
Time: 12:30pm – 4pm

Amy Goldman: The Heirloom Tomato 9 September,2008Jennifer Maiser

  • That tomato looks like Margaret Thatcher. That is an old tomato. Clever does not equal fresh and real. That isn’t food porn: they wish. I see I disagree with the “reviewers” on Amazon, but so be it.

    I am going to Tomato Festival this weekend, and nowhere will you see a tomato isolated as in the photo above.

    BTW: we grew 25 kinds of heirlooms: seedlings provided by one of my best friends. That would be Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farm. I’ll be at TomatoFest with her.

    Let’s see them arm-wrestle!

    (Insert emoticon.)

  • WOW – as I paroose the net this AM – seeing all the delightful images, I am both inspired and encouraged. A close friend called this morning about the book knowing that I keep Ms. Goldman’s “Melons” & “Squash” books close at hand on my desk. I am waiting for him to arrive for an early lunch and book shopping. AGT

  • Hello, can you tell me the name of the tomato in the picture at the top of this page?
    Thank you very much.

    Lynn Malysa

    Email address


Jennifer Maiser

“My passion for food began young.”

I am the editor of the influential website which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers.

I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003.

I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, which was released in February 2010.

I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what’s in season and chatting with farmers.

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