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Special to the News
Whether they’re fried green, baked in a pie or blended into a smooth savory soup, tomatoes star in countless tasty dishes. But the question remains – where can you find the best tomato dish served in the state of Alabama?
Sweet Grown Alabama is officially launching the search for Bama’s Best Tomato Dish, along with the Alabama Farmers Federation and its television show, Simply Southern TV.
Nominations will be accepted May 2-18 through the groups’ Facebook pages. To make a nomination:
- Find the Bama’s Best Tomato Dish post at:
- Leave a comment on the post. For a nomination to count, the comment must include the business name, city and dish.
After May 18, the competition gets saucy! The eight businesses with the most nominations will be deemed the Edible Eight.
From May 23-26, daily head-to-head matchups will be posted on Sweet Grown Alabama’s Facebook page and Instagram stories. Businesses that win their matchup will make it to the next round – the Flavorful Four.
In June, a panel of judges will visit each of the Flavorful Four to taste-test nominated dishes and select a winner. Along with all-important bragging rights, the overall winner will receive a plaque, cash prize and features in “Neighbors” magazine and on Simply Southern TV.
Bama’s Best Tomato Dish is sponsored by Sweet Grown Alabama, whose members grow the freshest best-tasting tomatoes, among numerous other products.
Bama’s Best Tomato Dish seeks to promote Alabama-based restaurants, food trucks and professional cooks. National chains will not be eligible. However, a specific location of an Alabama-based chain will be eligible to compete.
Statistics on tomatoes
- Fruit or vegetable? Scientifically, tomatoes are a fruit. However, nutritionists categorize tomatoes as a vegetable.
- Tomatoes are Americans’ second favorite vegetable behind potatoes. Per capita, Americans consume 20.3 pounds of fresh tomatoes and 73.3 pounds of processed tomatoes annually.
- California ranks Number 1 in the U.S. for tomato production, followed by Florida, Indiana and Michigan.
- Tomatoes are native to South America. They spread to other parts of the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
- Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants.