Cen­tral France

SALADE DE TOMATES AVEC SOUPE FROIDE DE TOMATES (Tomato salad & chilled tomato soup)

Lonely Planet (UK) - - French Food Tour -

There can be no bet­ter taste than that of a tomato you’ve grown your­self; it’s the taste of sun­shine, with a sweet­ness not of­ten achieved by the shop-bought va­ri­eties. Imag­ine, then, the bounty of flavours that come with grow­ing some 650 va­ri­eties, in all man­ner of shapes, sizes and colours. Each one brings some­thing dif­fer­ent to the open kitchen of the Bar à Tomates in the Château de la Bour­daisière’s gar­den. Here, chef Yacinthe de Geyer cooks sim­ple dishes that let the fruit’s flavours shine through, us­ing them for the salad and then the left­overs for a gaz­pa­cho-style soup. Ask him to name his favourites and it’s like ask­ing him to name a favourite child, but he ad­mits to a few. ‘I like the Coeur de Boeuf: it has very thin skin and very few seeds and it just melts in the mouth,’ he says. ‘Then there are some that are like tiny yel­low pears and they are so tasty. The tiny ones are the tasti­est.’

72 Yacinthe de Geyer (above, right) cre­ates dishes from the 650 va­ri­eties of tomato that grow in the walled gar­den of Château Bour­daisière, Mont­louis-sur-Loire

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