2020 55¢ Fruits and Vegetables – Heirloom and Cherry Tomatoes
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 17, 2020
First Day City: Charleston, WV
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000
When most people think of tomatoes, they picture the bright red varieties that are most common today. However, this has not always been the case. In fact, most tomatoes were multicolored until the discovery of a genetic mutation in the 1940s that led to all-red fruits.
Today, multicolored tomatoes are known as “heirloom” varieties. They exist thanks to small-town farmers and gardeners who have preserved the original form of the fruit. This was made possible because, unlike modern hybrid tomatoes (all-red), heirloom tomato seeds produce identical fruit to their parent.
All-red hybrid tomatoes are still the most common varieties found in supermarkets. Though, a renewed interest in heirloom tomatoes (and heirloom plants in general) began in the 2010s. This is because modern hybrid tomatoes have been bred to hold up better on supermarket shelves, at the expense of their flavor. While heirloom tomatoes are less disease resistant and have a shorter shelf life, they contain more sugar and are much more flavorful than hybrid tomatoes.
Of course, the best tomatoes of all are those picked fresh from the garden during the summer months. And with the heirloom varieties, you’ll have colorful, delicious tomatoes of many sizes to enjoy in your salads, pasta dishes, and much more.