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In Notes on the State of Virginia, written in 1781, Jefferson lists tomatoes as produce common to Virginia kitchen gardens. Jefferson grew his tomatoes at Monticello in 1809 - the first summer of his retirement - and grew them until his death.
The Costoluto Genovese tomato (seen at right) is an old Italian preserving tomato variety. Its heavily lobed and often convoluted shape is indicative of early nineteenth century tomato varieties, but makes an oddity in today's vegetable garden. The Costoluto Genovese's stellar flavor is intense and acidic. Because of its odd shape, this tomato is best for sauces and pastes where the skin is removed.