Welcome to Tomatopalooza ™

Tomatopalooza™ is the annual tomato tasting event held each year near Raleigh, NC.  This is the web site where you can find details of upcoming events, as well as links to pictures of past events.  If you have any questions, please send an email to Lee Newman at leetomato@gmail.com or Craig LeHoullier  at nctomatoman@gmail.com. 


News – Updated July 3, 2013

Announcing the annual Tomatopalooza™ heirloom tomato tasting!

Sadly, this year we will not be having our annual event.  Life has been busy for both Craig and I as well as the other organizers of past events. Also, the level of participants bringing tomatoes to share has been limited to a few folks.  This resulted in a need for a few of us to provide an unsustainable amount of the tomatoes at the event. 

We hope to re-organize the structure for a more long-term sustainable event for next year.  Keep watching this site for more news. 


About the tasting: all are encouraged to bring samples of tomatoes to taste from their gardens. The more folks that can bring tomatoes, the more we will have to taste. We hope to get as many different varieties of tomatoes to taste. The supply of varieties will, of course, be dependent upon what’s ripe on that date! 

Registration: We are requesting that all register this year.  Please send an email to register@tomatopalooza.org with name, number attending, and if you plan to bring tomatoes.  This will greatly assist us in our planning/organization.

Date: Cancelled for 2013

Time: 1~4pm – tomato tasting


Location: TBD in 2014
Hosts: TBD in 2014


Basic Tomato Sorbet

Makes 6 ˝ cup servings

From recipe published in The Virginian Pilot July 16, 2006

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 cups tomato juice

1 Tbsp lemon juice


Prior to juicing tomatoes – place an 8-9” metal pan in the freezer to chill

To make simple sugar:

Mix together sugar and water, heat, while stirring constantly, until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let simple sugar mixture cool.

Juice tomatoes* (of your choice) to make 2 cups of juice. If you don’t have 2 cups of juice, add another fruit juice of your choice. (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Apple etc….) Mix together with cooled simple sugar mixture and lemon juice (see variations).

Pour the mixture into the chilled pan, return to freezer. Freeze until ice crystals being to form around the edges (about 45 minutes). Stir the frozen edges into the liquid center. Return the pan to the freezer, stirring every 30 minutes or so until all the liquid freezes firmly but not solidly. (About 3-4 hours)

Working quickly, break the frozen sorbet into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour into plastic freezer container and freeze until firm (about 4 hours)

Variations for varieties served at Tomatopalooza IX

Lime Green Salad Sorbet

3 cups Lime Green Salad Tomato Juice

Juice of one Lime (instead of lemon juice)

Zest of one lime

Add finely chopped lime zest to simple sugar mixture during cooling process


Tomato Jam Recipe:


 1.5 pounds of tomatoes, before coring (note 1)

       These tomatoes can be the ones that are really ripe and going soft.

 2-3 chili peppers (note 2) 4 cloves of garlic

 1 thumb size piece of ginger (or two if you have small thumbs)

 1 1/4 cups of confectioners' / 10-X powdered sugar (note 3)

 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (note 4)

       Optional: add 1/8 cup of balsamic with the red wine vinegar to equal a 1/4 cup

 2 Tablespoons fish sauce


To Make:

1) Core and peel the tomatoes

2) Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 pieces (note 5)

3) Peel the garlic and ginger, rough chop into smaller pieces

4) Puree garlic, ginger, chilies and fish sauce

5) Add puree, sugar, and vinegar to a non-reactive sauce pan (stainless is one)

6) Add tomatoes, then slowly bring to a boil

7) Cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan

8) Pour into hot, sterilized glass jars and cover with sterilized hot canning lids

9) Follow canning procedures for longer storage, otherwise this way will keep for no more than a month to six weeks max



1) The Trust tomato I used is pretty neutral in terms of balancing acidity with sweetness. Because of this, the recipe is balanced between the amounts of sugar to vinegar. To balance your tomatoes, try adding more of one ingredient than less of the other.

2) How hot you want it depends on you. I used 3 red chilies for the batch today

3) Add more if the acidity is higher

4) Add more vinegar if the tomatoes are sweet.

5) Mine didn't set as well as I hoped because it was just made this morning and probably because I didn't remove the seeds, which added more juice, I suppose. Cooking longer could reduce it, but the longer cooking time may affect the taste.



Links to pictures from previous events

Tomatopalooza™ I 2003: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ II 2004: Link1,  Link2

Tomatopalooza™ III 2005: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ IV 2006: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ V 2007: Link1, Link2, Link3

Tomatopalooza™ VI 2008: Link1, Link2

Tomatopalooza™ VII 2009: Link1, Link2

Tomatopalooza™ VIII 2010: Link1, Link2, Link3, Craig's writeup, Sue's blog, Dean's writeup

Tomatopalooza™ IX 2011: Link1, Link2, Craig's writeup, Dean's writeup

Tomatopalooza™ X 2012: Link1

Links to the lists of tomatoes represented at each event

Tomatopalooza™ I 2003: NA

Tomatopalooza™ II 2004: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ III 2005: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ IV 2006: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ V 2007: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ VI 2008: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ VII 2009: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ VIII 2010: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ IX 2011: Link1

Tomatopalooza™ X 2012: Link1

Other Links of Interest

Tomatoville: A great place to talk maters

Tomatosite: Nice database of different tomato varieties

Tomato Growers Supply: One of the best sources for heirloom tomato seed

Victory Seeds: Another great source for heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom Vegetable Archive: Great list of heirloom tomatoes with pictures

Reinhard Kraft’s web site: Another great database of heirloom tomatoes with pictures

Craig's Home Page: Craig’s home page with loads of information