Antibes Market & the Quest for a Tomato

Maybe our memories are exagerrated and tastier than the reality, but one thing I really miss is the lusciously red, ripe, meaty beefsteak tomato found in the U.S. at the farmer’s market.  Oui, France has its version, bien sûr, but does the IMG_0034“coeur de boeuf” in France equal the garden variety “beefsteak” tomato?  I was on a quest!

I went to the marché en plein air in Antibes and scouted the vendors’ stands for tomatoes: all shapes and sizes were available – I bought two different varieties that looked similar to beefsteak – one was priced at a hefty 9,50€ per kilo (about $6 per pound) but it looked like the real thing.  I have tried “coeur de boeuf” and found them a little bland tasting, comparatively speaking, so maybe this would be ‘it’!

After slicing the tomatoes, I realized they weren’t the same red or as meaty, but it would be the taste that counts, right!?  IMG_0037IMG_0036
So, what was the verdict? Well, it tasted like a tomato and was good, but it still lacked that deep, rich, full flavor I was craving.

So, my quest continues during the current tomato season, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to smuggle one from the US! 🙂

Photos from the town of Antibes & its market (hover over photo for caption)

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10 thoughts on “Antibes Market & the Quest for a Tomato

  1. frank says:

    My only criteria these days seems to be that the rounder and the redder the tomato, the less taste you’re liable to find. As with pasts quests of my own for North Carolina peaches and melons from distant memories, I fear you’ll be no more likely to find “the real thing” back in the U.S.A. either!

    p.s. thanks for photo of beautiful red sliced tomatos which brought back to mind tomato and mayonaise sandwiches that my mother fixed for me as a child. they no longer appeal, but the memory they trigger from a peaceful time in a different century does.

  2. I fear you’re right, but I will keep searching 🙂 My mother used to eat tomato sandwiches too, and I hadn’t thought of that until your comment – thanks for the Proust moment!

  3. Mary-James says:

    In our garden here in Les Arcs s/Argens, the ‘coeur de boeuf’ is probably my favorite…every bit as rich, meaty and luscious as those I have had from my grandmother’s garden (beef steak) in KY or the farmer’s markets in NC. Had one last night with fresh goat cheese and the last of the summer truffles. I think it has to do with how long they are allowed to ripen on the vine.

  4. colormusing says:

    I know, I’ve been spoiled on all the heirloom tomatoes here at the farmer’s market for months! I wonder why they don’t taste the same in France? They will definitely grow in a pot, but you’ll need a big, deep one, with a trellis or stakes to tie them to, if you’re planting the large variety. Hard to think of something more satisfying, en parlant des jardins, than growing your own tomatoes!

  5. Mich-in-French says:

    This market looks so colourful and fresh – sorry about your tomatoes but I am looking forward to visiting this place. I loved all the photos x

  6. It’s a great market in products and ambiance – enjoy!

  7. melanie says:

    wonderful market… 🙂 beef heart tomatoes rule and rock, they’re my favourite ones, too: 🙂
    http://balauru.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/invincible-rosy/
    – – –
    amitiés toulousaines, bonne nuit et un dimanche ensoleillé! 🙂

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