I know I’m not the only one who looks forward to mid summer when the juicy and best tasting heirloom tomatoes are finally ready to eat! I know this because we had over thirty people sign up for our heirloom tomato tasting party at Roots Farm in Tiverton, RI on a hot summer afternoon. As part of my agritourism consulting business, I design on farm events and recreational/educational opportunities for farmers looking to connect with their customers and diversify their income. My good friend Kelli and her family run the most amazing year-round organic vegetable farm and she wanted to invite her CSA members to celebrate and sample the 22 varieties of tomatoes they grow.
To help engage everyone’s senses, I set out fabric pennants and fresh flowers and designed a “tomato tasting notes” card for people to record their opinions on each variety. Kelli also provided a tour of her tomato greenhouse and we included some growing tips on the back of the tasting note cards. A tomato tasting is such a fun and easy way to celebrate summer and this iconic food, so I am happy to share my event planning guide and decorations! Click here to access these resources!
Below are some additional tomato tasting party tips, but don’t feel you have to go overboard. I was so nervous about this event, but my good friend gently reminded me that “all you really need is people, a knife and tomatoes!”
Tips for Hosting a Tomato Tasting
- Decor – if you can, host your event outside in the yard or garden, just be mindful of bugs. A clean tablecloth and a jar of wildflowers is an easy way to elevate the experience! Be sure to sign up below to get access to my event planning and decor files!
- Appetizers – we also served fresh burrata, gray sea salt, crusty bread and an herbed olive oil, for people to pair with their tomatoes. And OMG the combination of all of these flavors was out of this world. Don’t forget to serve a beverage too, even just ice water or lemonade.
- Potluck – you can turn this into a great dinner party too. Ask your guests to bring their favorite tomato-inspired dish and award a prize to the favorite
- Serving – I was so anxious about having enough tomato samples ready. But we just had a few volunteers start to slice as everyone arrived and it worked out perfectly!