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Food & Drink

Duke’s Mayo Hot Tomato Summer Being Served Up this Week

One Mayo to rule them all, One Mayo to find them, One Mayo to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.




There are two things everyone that moves to Richmond from the non-south, should learn right away or risk the wrath of their neighbors. Hanover tomatoes are the best and Duke’s is the only type of mayonnaise that should be used.

I just found out that Duke’s Mayo is partnering with local restaurants to present Hot Tomato Summer: A week-long event featuring seasonal pairings of tomatoes and mayo from participating Richmond restaurants. There are 13 participating restaurants, including favorites like ZZQ with a Put up your Duke’s Tomato Pie – House made biscuit pie crust filled with Shalom Farms tomatoes, poblano peppers, garlic, basil, cheddar cheese, and Duke’s Mayonnaise and Union Market which is offering up – Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Edward’s Hickory Smoked Bacon, Romaine, Smoked Sweet Corn Duke’s Mayo, pickled red onions and a schmear of House Pimento cheese on Toasted Billy Bread. Find out what the others have on tap here.

For those unfamiliar with Duke’s check out the story on NPR.

Unlike most other mass-produced mayonnaise, Duke’s contains no sugar. This gives it the signature tang that has kept both chefs and home cooks raving about it since the company was founded over 100 years ago. “When they teach you how to make mayonnaise in culinary school, they are essentially teaching you how to make Duke’s,” says Fleer. “It has the right balance of richness and acidity.”

Southern Living posted just three days ago an article about what makes Hanover tomatoes so great.

“The Hanover tomato is defined by its soil, not by its variety,” David Hunsaker, a farmer at Village Garden RVA in Hanover, says. “So, you’re looking at this strip of sandy soil, and that soil is what makes Hanover tomatoes what they are.”

The sandy, coastal region, mixed with a little Virginia red clay, if you’re on Hunsaker’s farm, makes for a richer flavor in this bright crop. All of the growing circumstances – soil pH, composition, rain, and sun – marry to produce the Hanover.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.