Sweet Brandywine: Pisarik tomato top tasting at State Fair
September 08, 2012
The top tomato growers took their best produce for judging at the 2012 Iowa State Fair, and members of a Mount Vernon family came out on top.
Seth Pisarik of Mount Vernon won first place with his entry in the Best Tasting Tomato competition judged Aug. 11. Daniel Cretors of Urbandale won second place. Seth's younger sister, Grace, was third.
Seth said luck had a little bit to do with it. He entered a Brandywine - a variety that has done well in the past. Brandywines aren't the prettiest, Seth said, but seem to have a flavor judges appreciate. Grace entered a Better Boy.
Despite not being a huge tomato fan - "I like them in ketchup and salsa," Seth said - Seth has tried again and again to earn the best-tasting award. He was surprised to learn that there was a cash prize that went with it.
"I had no clue," he said of the $75 payout. "Every year I just threw one in. This was the year we finally won it."
The Pisariks used their prize winnings to treat themselves to pork chops on a stick at the State Fair.
The family, including Seth's sisters Erin and Emma (the three are triplets), did well with other produce, earning ribbons for onions, pickles and potatoes.
Seth said he probably doesn't have the time (he's a freshman studying mechanical engineering at University of Wisconsin Platteville) or the space (he's living in a 15-foot dorm) to grow winter vegetables this year. But he does want to continue gardening.
And the key to repeating next year - grow Brandywines, because they are the best tasting tomatoes?
"I guess," he said. "They all taste like tomatoes to me."