I recently convinced myself that August is National Tomato Month. Possibly because I have spent the last several weeks gorging on the beautiful New England tomatoes making their way to the Boston farmers’ markets and local farm stands.
Imagine my dismay when I discovered that August celebrates many foodstuffs, including sandwiches, catfish, and peaches, but according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, National Fresh Tomato Day falls on April 6th.
Now, if you dragged yourself through many, many miserably damp days in March and April of 2014, you know for a fact that there was not a local, sun-ripened, fresh tomato to be found in Boston on April 6th. And I’m not the only person who thinks August is the time to celebrate the glorious tomato. Consider the world-famous, tomato-centric celebration known as La Tomatina in Buñol, a small Spanish town in Valencia that attracts over 30,000 people every August.
This is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful ripe tomatoes of all varieties. They are also a superfood, rich in Vitamin C and fiber, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. Read more about the health benefits of eating tomatoes in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy tomatoes, here are a few of my favorite recipes:
- Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen
- Roasted Tomato Soup from 101 Cookbooks
- Heirloom Tomato Tart from Joy the Baker
And of course, you can always just eat a perfectly ripe tomato all on its own, preferably over the kitchen sink.
Did you know that according to a study by research group, Bundle, Massachusetts was the 4th largest consumer of ice cream in 2012?
The dog days of summer are upon us, so now is the perfect time to curate the habit for this beloved and delicious dessert. Especially considering that some ice creameries are only open for the season, here are some tasty places in the greater Boston area you can get your fix this summer:
- Picco (South End): House-made and perfect. Including the “Adult” Ice Cream Soda (raspberry Belgian lambic + vanilla ice cream) and a stout milkshake!
- Fomu (Jamaica Plain, Allston/Brighton): Vegan, made from scratch and local ingredients with flavors such as Avocado, Cardamom Pistachio, Mango Habanero and Sweet Lavender.
- White Mountain Creamery (Boston College, Chestnut Hill): Vermont Maple Walnut, Peanut Butter Banana, Kahlua Brownie and it goes on. They even have sugar free ice cream if that’s your jam!
- Toscanini’s (Cambridge): Some of the best in ice cream since 1981. Too many amazing flavors to choose from, so check it out yourself already!
- Churn2 (Cambridge): Do you like your liquid nitrogen-based ice cream served from a shipping container turned micro-food unit? Then this is your place!
- Christina’s Ice Cream (Cambridge): Over 50 flavors, so there’s bound to be at least one that speaks to your soul. There’s also the adjoining spice store next door.
- Batch (Ice Cream Truck): Batch’s Ice Cream Truck operates only from April to October and can be found Sundays at SoWa Market, otherwise you can always pick up a pint of Brown Sugar Bourbon and Pecan at your local grocer.
- J.P. Licks (all over Greater Boston): While they are open all year round, the flavors in the summer get down right fresh. We’re talking about flavors like Peach, Cucumber, and Mojito Sorbet. Kosher and made in Jamaica Plain with dairy free options abound, including hemp ice cream.
Do you have any other favorites? We would love to hear about them!
Ahh, summer! When the misery of winter is but a distant memory, and we are all baking in the heat collectively! Other than no need to justify ice cream, one of the best things about summer are all the free events you can take advantage of. Summer is the perfect time to discover Boston with some of the free events highlighted below:
- Free Fun Fridays! by the Highland Street Foundation runs from June 27th to August 29th this year, and offers free entrance to 67 museums and cultural venues around and within Boston, including free Boston Harbor Island Ferry Rides on August 8th.
- Outdoor movie events all around the city, including the DCR Hatch Shell, Christopher Columbus Park, and the Prudential Center.
- Shakespeare in the Common (July 23rd to August 10th). This year is the magnificent comedy Twelfth Night.
- Neighborhood Nights at Isabella Stewart Gardner (July 10 &, August 7th)
- Berklee Summer in the City Concerts
- Boston Public Library Concerts in the Courtyard
- Boston Harbor Hotel Summer in the City events include live music and classic movies
- Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Harborwalk Sounds (July 10th to August 28th)
Lastly, a great resource to search for free or low cost events in Boston all year round is the Boston Calendar.
Enjoy summer while it lasts!
It is finally summer and I am convinced the weather will get hot at some point. However, we all need to make sure that we, and our loved-ones, know the dangers of UV radiation and play it smart when we are enjoying being outside all summer and fall. You can use the following infographics to teach your friends and family to be safe in the sun!
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