Photo by Mark Woolcott Photography, Styling by Patricia BainterIF ONLY REMBRANDT had a Kumato, he might have painted this darkly luscious tomato on a recycled canvas, rolled it up like a scroll and tried to sell it to one of his patrons. They are grown in The Netherlands and the Mediterranean, so it’s possible he enjoyed them too. Perhaps it is one of his lost masterpieces?

Instead, my friend Mark Woolcott has captured with his camera a still life portrait that I believe epitomizes the essence of art on film. The fiery pulp of this brown tomato glows with a dewy invitation. The dark and moody backdrop with the various shades of black and the striking bolt of light lead me to believe that Rembrandt was behind this. All I did was cut it at just the right spot, allowed the juice to drip out, and posed the two pieces on a square of slate. Mark turned that into art.

Art can be found anywhere and we found it inside this tomato. It is brown, green, or perhaps mossy colored, with a starburst of red at the core. It tastes like a tomato but with a meatier texture and firmer skin. It has a higher level of fructose making it sweeter while also containing a bit of a sour note. According to http://www.kumato.com, it is not genetically modified but a natural variety of tomato that has existed for millennia.

Never refrigerate a tomato. They taste best if stored at room temperature. The Kumato brown tomato is already ripe when you find them in the store and they are ready-to-eat. They actually ripen from the inside out making them resistant to bruising. They are available at Whole Foods and should last up to two weeks.

Enjoy them cut in half with a sprinkling of flakey salt, or try them in this Easy Caprese Bruschetta.

THE PATRICIAN PALETTE | MARK WOOLCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

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