Reader Billy King of Mastic Beach took the top honor less than a half hour ago for his 2 pound, 9 ounce "The Dom" tomato, right here at Newsday headquarters.
I know what you're thinking: What's a "The Dom" tomato? King has named it that himself, but the last time we came face to face with this variety it was being called "Ugly" tomato.
Back in 2007, at the very first Long Island Tomato Challenge, Vincenzo Domingo was crowned Tomato King for growing a 3 pound, 14 ounce tomato he called the "Ugly" tomato.
Domingo named it that because, well, because it was ugly, but also because he didn't have a name for it. The seeds were sent to him by his brother, who lived in Sicily, and he'd been growing killer tomatoes with seeds saved from year to year.
When he won the challenge, Billy King, a competitive pumpkin grower in his own right, saw an opportunity:
He contacted Domingo, who sent him a bunch of seeds, and King has been growing those tomatoes ever since. Paying homage to the man who provided the seeds, King has named his tomato "The Dom."
Now King is "The King." Tonight, in his third quest for the title, I had the pleasure of placing a medal on him and dubbing him the 2010 Long Island Tomato King.