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January 26, 2007

'It's Ugly, and Coming to Your Grocer'

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Above, the headline over a story in the January 24, 2007 Washington Post Food section by Walter Nicholls about a decision last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finally allowing the UglyRipe tomato (above) to be sold outside its South Florida growing region.

Here's the article.

    It's Ugly, and Coming to Your Grocer

    Say goodbye to the cotton-textured tomatoes of winter. UglyRipe tomatoes, praised for their flavor if not their appearance, are on their way from Florida to Washington area supermarkets, thanks to a decision last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Tomato developer Joe Procacci, who fought shape restrictions imposed by the Florida Tomato Committee, can now sell his lumpy, bumpy UglyRipe heirloom tomato outside the South Florida growing region. It took more than 20 years of research and $3 million in funding to bring the variety to market.

    "I have sold tomatoes since I was a boy during the Depression," Procacci, head of Philadelphia-based Procacci Brothers Sales Corp., said in a news release. "This is the first tomato that tastes like a tomato should taste and yet is hardy enough to ship across the country."

    Marketed by Procacci Brothers subsidiary Santa Sweets, which also introduced the grape tomato, UglyRipes are in short supply now because of recent hot weather in South Florida but should be more available in a few weeks. They retail for about $3 to $4 per pound and weigh an average of 1/2 pound. Look for them at Giant, Harris Teeter, Magruder's, Shoppers, Wegmans and Whole Foods stores. Santa Sweets will soon launch a blog for fans at the Web site www.santasweets.blogspots.com.

    January 26, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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