Tomato takeover

illustrations by SARAH HANSEL

In the early 1920s, Sacramento boasted the two largest canneries in the world, establishing an economy around processing all kinds of produce, most notably the tomato. To celebrate this foundational product, the Sacratomato Festival will take place at Sutter’s Fort (2701 L Street) on Saturday, July 22, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tomato-based samples will be handed out by Sutter District restaurants like Paragary’s, Ink Eats and Drinks and Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub. As Sacramento-based reggae band Simple Creation plays live music, adults can visit the customizable bloody mary station and children can get a hands-on experience with the crop at “Tomato University.” Later in the evening, amateurs will compete in a live salsa-making competition and local chefs will host demonstrations. The festival kicks off Sacratomato Week, when various Midtown restaurants will craft dishes centered around the vegetable-ish fruit that’s been almost as valuable to Sacramento as all of John Sutter’s gold.