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Salsa entries will range from mild and mannerly to Hot Cha Cha! at the July 12 Tomato Tasting and Sizzlin' Summer Salsa Contest at the Fullerton Arboretum. Photo by Kelly Lacefield

Tomato Tasting and Sizzlin' Summer Salsa Contest

Fullerton Arboretum Hosts Annual Event July 12

July 8, 2008

The Fullerton Arboretum will host its annual Tomato Tasting and Sizzlin' Summer Salsa Contest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 12. The free, public event will be held in the open pavilion area of the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, located on the Arboretum grounds.

Contestants are asked to bring their home-grown tomatoes in clearly labeled bags to the tomato tasting tables where the samples will be cut up in bite-size morsels for visitors to sample, savor and select their favorites. At noon, ballots will be tallied and the People's Choice for the top 3 tomatoes of 2008 will be declared.

The only requirement for the salsa entries are that they must be made with home-grown tomatoes and peppers. Contest entrants are asked to provide 3 two-ounce containers of salsa with lids for the salsa judges and 4 cups of salsa for guests to taste. Three categories will be selected: wimpy or mild and mannerly (very mild); Now You're Talkin'! (medium to medium hot); and Hot Cha Cha! (get the fire extinguisher). Entries must be at the check-in table between 10 a.m. and noon to be considered for judging. Winners will be announced at 2 p.m.

The Arboretum will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Fridays and weekends during the month of July. It will be closed Friday, July 4.

The 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum, opened in 1979 at the northeast corner of the Cal State Fullerton campus, is the largest and oldest botanical garden in Orange County.

For further information, contact the Fullerton Arboretum at 657-278-3579 or visit their website at

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