Let’s be honest. While there do exist current restaurant menus around these parts that may leave you scratching your head at the following statement, LOCAL TOMATO SEASON IS OVER IN SOUTH FLORIDA. Yes, the sad reality is that while the greater part of the country sinks their teeth into Brandywine sandwiches and gently rests Green Zebra paperweights on farmers market shopping lists, all while gazing affectionately at window sills replete with plump Purple Cherokees, you likely won’t see another tomato on our food bar wall at MGFD until late November.
We love getting warm and fuzzy over intertwined local calabazas as much as the next guy, but it would suffice to say that September isn’t our shining moment for local produce. Our farmers are planting right now. The important work is in motion to get season off to a strong start at the end of the year, and we rely more on fruits and veg from out of state, speckled here and there with whatever we can find close by. And this does not mean we must suffer nor settle. Take for example the mighty Burrata, a long beloved medium dish of ours now also available on our Miami Spice dinner menu this month. Only a match for heirloom tomatoes? Not so! Dare I say that the noble Brown Turkey Fig from California travels beautifully and, when sliced with Paradise Farms basil tops, extra-virgin olive oil, and fleur de sel, is like a trip to Lacuna, Inc.? Well, ok, maybe just a momentary distraction (you know what I’ll be eating next week in New York!) but one worth savoring.