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Tiptoe Through the Tomatoes

Submitted by on March 31, 2012 – 12:19 amNo Comment

Special to Road Trips for Foodies
By the Austrian Tourist Board

Erich Stekovics has scoured the world for tomato seeds in his quest to revive some nearly forgotten flavors. Today more than 3,200 varieties of tomato thrive in his fields near the Neusiedlersee, Austria (map).

He is one of the most innovative and successful farmers in Burgenland and his passion is tomatoes. “A wonderful vegetable”, he says, “no wonder Austrians call them paradise apples”.

Stekovics has the world’s largest collection of tomato plants, producing fruit in every conceivable color, shape and size.

The mild climate around the Lake Neusiedl, central Europe’s largest steppe lake, is ideal for tomato growing, as the sun shines on 300 days of the year. With his unconventional methods — Stekovics never waters his plants nor ties them up — he manages to extract the best flavor from these delicious old varieties.

Immediately after picking, the tomatoes are made into sauces, preserves and chutneys, which can be purchased from the farm shop and in selected gourmet shops.

Stekovics offers a daily tour through his colourful tomato fields from July to September.

(Photo courtesy of Austrian Tourist Office)

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