Like family keepsakes, heirloom fruits and vegetables celebrate heritage. They are grown from seeds that have been passed down generation to generation in order to preserve special varieties, such as the Alexander apple or the Amarillo carrot.
Today, only a few varieties of fruits and vegetables make it to the major supermarkets. If you can find them, heirloom fruits and vegetables not only help preserve agricultural diversity in the seed chain, but they can also add another level of variety to your plate.
Check your local farmers markets. As they increase in popularity, more farmers are able to plant and sell relatively unusual produce, including the German Pink tomato or the Italian Chioggia beet. When you try these heirloom foods, you'll be enjoying a new taste that goes back hundreds of years.
For tips on adding more fruits and vegetables to your eating plan, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.