Posted on 17 May 2008 by

Aunt Ruby\’s German Green Tomatoes

My Michael Nolan

Like every Southern woman should, Aunt Ruby knew tomatoes.

The gardening wonder woman from Greeneville, Tennessee passed away in 1997 but not before leaving behind one of the best tomato legacies in the South.

The heirloom tomato bearing her name seems tailor made for my favorite Southern delicacy, with its beefsteak qualities and average size of about a pound each.

Of all the foods associated with Southern cooking, fried green tomatoes have to be at the top of the list — at least in my experience they have been. I can’t even remember the number of places I’ve traveled around the world that I have encountered people who, when they discovered my origins — asked me if I made fried green tomatoes.

Of course the answer was yes and the next thing I knew, I would be in some stranger’s kitchen elbow deep in flour and cornmeal and sharing stories of my heritage while the grease was heating in the pan.

The majority of people who attempt fried green tomatoes simply use the immature fruit of any old tomato plant, but not me. No, I have learned from the best and perfected the art, bringing it to new culinary taste heights.

When I first discovered Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes, I was in heaven. See, I’ve always been a fan of produce that didn’t fit the mold — the stuff that looks deformed or the wrong color has always made my heart go pitter pat.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes are a lovely shade of lime green when they are fully mature, with a slightly pink shade in the center and a flavor that is the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. On first taste I knew I had found the ideal tomato for my own fried green tomato recipe, and a few weeks later, it was born.

Since I have bantered on long enough for this entry, I’ll save my recipe for another day, but stay tuned — especially if you are not from the South — as this is one you don’t want to miss!

10 Responses to “Aunt Ruby\’s German Green Tomatoes”

  1. our friend Ben Says:

    Bad Michael! Bad!! Bad!!! Making everyone wait for your secret recipe! But at least now we know that you think Aunt Ruby’s prized tomatoes are the ones to use!

  2. Michael Nolan Says:

    Now now, ofB…What worth would I have as a writer if I had not mastered the art of the cliffhanger?

  3. deb Says:

    Well, that’s not fair. Come on, you can’t tease us like that.


  4. Michael Nolan Says:

    Debbi: to be completely honest, I can’t even remember if I turned in my recipe or not. I write my posts for TC in advance, and my mind is such a blur at the moment (first cup of coffee) that I need to make sure I even sent that in…


  5. linda Says:

    I wish I had Mrs. Schmidt’s recipe for pickled green tomatoes. She was an elderly German woman who was friends with my mom when I was a child. Her pickled tomatoes were absolutely delicious. She had a beautiful garden, and grew the tomatoes herself. I’m not sure what variety they were. They were small tomatoes, about the size of rutgers. I’ve always wished my mom had gotten her recipe.

    I do love fried green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are also delicious grilled, broiled, or sauteed, and topped with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, basil, and parmesan cheese. Yum!

  6. Mary Says:

    It’s July and we’re still waiting for this receipe. Are you ever going to submit it???

  7. Kathy Says:

    I would love the recipe also…A neighbor just picked up an Aunt Ruby’s German green tomato from a local nursery for me and look so forward to making some fried green tomatoes this summer!

  8. Michael Nolan Says:

    The recipe can be found here:

  9. NikkiBoots Says:

    I was just wondering if they tomatoes can be used in a sauce? Like a regular red tomato. I have an abundance of these lovely green beauties but can only eat so many fried versions of it. The ones I have left have become quite soft so I’m thinking a sauce might be good but not sure if its been done that way before. Any ideas/suggestiosn?

  10. Plants Have Stories Too | We Can Grow It Says:

    […] Ruby’s German Green really was developed by Aunt Ruby, a prolific developer of great tomatoes and other vegetables. […]

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