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Tomato gin and chocolates at Belgian tomato festival

A new edition of the Belgian Tomato Festival will be held from 3 to 5 September at the Arboretum in Kalmthout. It promises to be an extra tasty edition, with many rare tomato varieties on display. Stoffels Tomaten, among others, will be showcasing its range.

Unique this year are two tomato pralines made by the Arboretum itself. The filling with home-made tomato coulis by the chocolatier is inspired by Stoffels' tomatoes.

Anyone who gets thirsty after the chocolates can taste a new Arboretum Gin containing ingredients from the Arboretum garden.

Exhibition and seed sale
Arboretum Kalmthout's tomato festival traditionally rounds off the summer with a colourful exhibition of tomatoes. Some 200 remarkable and rare tomato varieties will be on display in a retrospective exhibition in the historical Vangeertenhof. Vegetable gardening enthusiasts can browse and shop in the specialised seed database among more than 300 tomato varieties, from which the volunteers of Arboretum Kalmthout will harvest, clean and catalogue the seeds themselves.

Culinary festival meadow
This edition of the Tomato Festival will have a distinctly culinary flavour. Caterers and local producers will be offering visitors - at 'democratic prices' according to the organisers - a taste of original snacks with tomatoes as the main ingredient at their food stall in the arboretum garden on Saturday and Sunday.

Want to try it yourself? You can. Visitors can 'pick' recipes from the exhibition and buy ingredients at the fresh tomato stall. Tomato grower Stoffels Tomaten from Rijkevorsel offers a rich assortment for this purpose.

The tomato pralines 'Rito' and 'Muse' by chocolatier Clément Ickx.
Copyright: Arboretum Kalmthout

Tomato praline novelty
Kalmthout-based chocolatier Clément Ickx has been working with chocolate for 40 years. In his workshop 'Het Zwarte Goud' in Heide (Kalmthout), he created two special pralines in an unusual combination with tomato, in a completely traditional way, especially for Arboretum Kalmthout's Tomato Festival. His creations, 'Rito' and 'Muse', had a base of dark and milk chocolate topped with a layer of white chocolate. For the filling with his own prepared tomato coulis, he was inspired by the tomatoes of the same name from Stoffels Tomaten. Visitors to the tomato festival can taste the praline for free and take it home with them, because they are on sale for the first time. A praline box 'Rito' or 'Muse' contains three pieces and costs 4 euros.

New Arboretum Gin for garden expansion
On 3 September, Arboretum Kalmthout will also launch a second unique Arboretum Gin, with roses and spruce needles picked in the arboretum garden.

The first Arboretum Gin, released in April 2021, sold out immediately and was based on the flowers of Hamamelis from Arboretum Kalmthout's world-famous collection of witch-hazels. Once again, the edition is limited to 1,000 hand-numbered bottles. The proceeds of the sale will go directly to the 1 hectare garden expansion of the arboretum. Arboretum Gin is a creation and production of Sterkstokers and Arboretum Kalmthout.

The new Arboretum Gin will be on sale for the first time during the Tomato Festival and will then be available in the gift and book shop at Arboretum Kalmthout. A 500 ml bottle costs € 39.50.

Programme 2021

Friday 3 September

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. exhibition and seed sale

Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 September

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. exhibition and seed sales
11 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. sale of snacks, local produce and tomatoes
2 p.m. guided seasonal walk in the arboretum garden (max. 25 people)

Culinary Guests

Traiteur Elke Van Dale of P.I.P., grows her own organic tomatoes in Kalmthout
Cook Eddy Vanden Langenbergh, culinary jack-of-all-trades, fixed value in the tomato festival
Traiteur Chef's @Home, cooks in heart and soul, with food truck
Ann Wouters, Kalmthoutse, homemade bio sauces with tomatoes from her own harvest
Clément Ickx, chocolatier of 'Het Zwarte Goud' in Kalmthout and designer of the tomato pralines.

For more information:
Arboretum Kalmthout 

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