It's tomato season in the South: Here's where to try the best in Charleston

Image by Flickr user ulterior epicure The frightening funky look generally translates into lots of flavor.

We're entering peak tomato season in the Lowcountry and that means you no longer have to chow down on tomato's fit for a fast food hamburger. 

Some of Charleston's restaurants are getting in on the game with dishes that celebrate our local bounty, and the Charleston City Paper has a nice set of highlights from around town; take a read here.

If you're new to the tasty tomato game the operative word is usually "heirloom," meaning that the tomato plant has more traditional flavors and a funkier look than the bred-for-production tomato plants that are responsible for most tomatoes you'll see in stores. 

A while back The Post and Courier had a nice piece with some simple recipes.

Which brings me to another point, there's certainly no reason you have to limit yourself to what you'll find in these restaurants. It takes very little effort to prepare an heirloom tomato for a delicious meal (in fact, the less you do probably the better.) I'm a  big fan of just slicing them and drizzling a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and adding some fresh basil.

You'll be able to find these genarations-old tomatoes at most any local farmers market; here's a guide to when and where the markets are.