You say Tomahto, I say Tomato
I never knew there was such a thing as a pink tomato. Well there are… and we found them in a village named Mirabel in Quebecs Laurentian region. Our van, ably chauffeured by driver Louis stopped near a cluster of greenhouses . We were hungry and entered what deceptively looked to be a little roadside cafe with some tables and chairs and a western theme. Lunch boxes where ready for us and once opened we found a delicious looking sandwich with the biggest beefsteak tomatoes I had ever seen.
The bread was scrumptious, fresh and appealing with pesto, mayonnaise and one humongous slice of tomato. We all munched hungrily until our appetites were sated, after which were we were enthusiastically greeted the company representative of Serres Stephane Bertrand (“serre” is French for greenhouse) … informed us that his CEO started his first greenhouse in 1996. Today there is a complex of greenhouses covering many acres which house cucumbers of all shapes and sizes, an assortment of peppers and multitudes of tomatoes…beefsteak , vine, cherry and well… pink.
Pink??? I never thought you could grow pink ones but there they were, unmistakably bright pink! Mr. Bertrand made these his specialty. I plucked one straight from the vine and tasted my very first pink tomato. It was firm, a little more acidic than the regular ones but absolutely still a tomato! I was astounded by the number and variety of this fruit (yes, NOT a vegetable) and wandered around snapping pictures.
Serres Stephane Bertrand produces 3,500.000 kilograms of tomatoes per year mainly for the Quebec market and but is now expanding to the United States.
The greenhouses are open to the public and you can buy the product straight from the proprietor. Owner, Bertrand, recognized the need for organic farming and is slowly transforming to a completely organic operation. Rather than insecticides, the company now stocks the greenhouses with plants that attract insects who in turn parasitize the white fly, the bane of the tomato farmer. Beehives are also spotted through the greenhouses, their inhabitants ably pollinating the plants. Currently there is one completely organic greenhouse and more to follow. This is great initiative and a great business to tour alone or with the whole family for a truly amazing morning or afternoon.
IF YOU GO…