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Types of Tomatoes

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Types of Tomatoes

Post  Millenia on 8/28/2013, 11:31 am

If you don't want to eat fresh tomatoes, but only want to can or freeze them for sauces or salsa, what would be a good type to grow?

Not being a tomato connoisseur myself, I've never paid much attention to the different types that are out there. I married someone who also has the tomato aversion gene and we apparently produced two offspring with the same taste buds.

I'm a juicer and will add small cherry tomatoes to a smoothie for the vitamins they contain so should probably try to grow some cherry tomatoes. Other than that, can someone suggest a simple, easy tomato that will work well in sauces?
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Turan on 8/28/2013, 12:31 pm

The first step is to look up in a catalog their paste/sauce tomatoes and see what is there and how they describe them.

I like my paste/sauce tomatoes to be firm when ripe. I roast them before making sauce. So far I have tried ~
Roma, they were too mealy and lacking flavor but the determinate bush plants were easy to work with.
Oroma, another bush but they are taller than Romas. They are just ripening now and so far seem to have good firm fruit like a SanMarzano, but I have not eaten or cooked any yet.

SanMarzano, tasty, firm, tall growing indeterminate but do not need a lot of pruning to stay in bounds. Lower yield. prone to green shoulders. These are the standard to compare Italian paste tomatoes to for taste.

Striped Romans, firm, tasty, tall exuberant indeterminate with lots of long big fruits. Definitely a repeater for me.

Cour de bue, an Italian oxheart. tall exuberant indeterminate. big fruits. They are still ripening so I do not know how they cook.

Early Girl. Indeterminate. lots of fruit. no taste. mealy yuck

Silver fir. bush. cool looking. no taste mealy yuck.

Russian Black paste. too soft. not enough flavor. wispy looking tall plant that produces pretty well.

Principe Borghese, supposed to be a bush but it is 8 feet tall this summer. Reasonably good fruit for cooking. Golf ball size, borderline firm enough. Tasty when cooked not so much when raw.

There are many more to try in the search for the perfect cooking tomato. Next year I want to try Gilbertie that I hear so much raves about here.

Good luck in your quest Laughing 



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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  sanderson on 8/28/2013, 12:59 pm

I ordered seeds for Amish paste for next year. I had some BER problems with the 8'+ Roma until I added non-fat milk and epson salts periodically.
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/28/2013, 1:22 pm

Maybe I'm too easily pleased, but I've had some pretty tasty Early Girls this year. They need to be left on the vine till they're fully ripe to develop that flavor, but I did get ones with enough flavor that I wouldn't mind growing them again.
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Millenia on 8/28/2013, 1:25 pm

HAHA...I like your 'mealy yuck' description. Gets the point across.
My problem with taste testing is my taste buds don't appreciate them so it would be all but impossible for anyone in my family to do a tomato taste test. I prefer to bow to the superior knowledge of the tomato experts here. Very Happy 

From your description, it sounds like Principe Borghese might be one for me to try, although I'm not crazy about the whole 8 foot tall part of it.
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Turan on 8/28/2013, 1:32 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Maybe I'm too easily pleased, but I've had some pretty tasty Early Girls this year.  They need to be left on the vine till they're fully ripe to develop that flavor, but I did get ones with enough flavor that I wouldn't mind growing them again.
You remind me that every ones mileage WILL vary. We all have different micro climates. There are thousands of variables involved in how a tomato tastes, including the taster as well! But what can one do? Early Girl was highly recommended to me as a sauce tomato and I did not find it good for that. O well. Best we can do is tell some one how it was for us, and hope they understand that that is but one data point.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Turan on 8/28/2013, 1:43 pm

@Millenia wrote:HAHA...I like your 'mealy yuck' description. Gets the point across.
My problem with taste testing is my taste buds don't appreciate them so it would be all but impossible for anyone in my family to do a tomato taste test. I prefer to bow to the superior knowledge of the tomato experts here. Very Happy 

From your description, it sounds like Principe Borghese might be one for me to try, although I'm not crazy about the whole 8 foot tall part of it.
Hopefully not too strong of terms though. Embarassed 

Are you wanting to grow indeterminate or determinate? There are loads of specialty bred for sauce/paste determinate (bush) tomatoes. Principe Borghese is traditionally dried into tomato like raisins. I have not tried that yet. Need a few more to ripen to fill a drying rack. From my reading I gather that 8 feet is excessive for them, normal is 4-6, which is still tall for a bush.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/28/2013, 1:58 pm

@Turan wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:Maybe I'm too easily pleased, but I've had some pretty tasty Early Girls this year.  They need to be left on the vine till they're fully ripe to develop that flavor, but I did get ones with enough flavor that I wouldn't mind growing them again.
You remind me that every ones mileage WILL vary. We all have different micro climates. There are thousands of variables involved in how a tomato tastes, including the taster as well! But what can one do? Early Girl was highly recommended to me as a sauce tomato and I did not find it good for that. O well. Best we can do is tell some one how it was for us, and hope they understand that that is but one data point.
True; my neighbor grows Sungold cherry tomatoes and so do I, and his taste far better than mine do. Mine are good, but his are incredibly good. I think you're right on about how important the microclimate is, which in a sense includes everything we as growers do to create the plant's environment -- watering, soil prep, etc.

Another example -- I've seen brandywines described as both tasteless and great-tasting, and out of my garden, I've had them both bland and very good, but not great-tasting yet. I was surprised! I had expected to be quite disappointed.

I think the best thing I've found for making my own tomatoes taste better is leaving them on the vine until they're absolutely without-a-doubt fully ripe.


Last edited by Marc Iverson on 8/28/2013, 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Turan on 8/28/2013, 1:59 pm

Millenia, you are in Georgia? You might need to check for those with the greatest disease resistance. And hopefully some one from the South will pipe up. What I mentioned about microclimates can be a killer when we are talking about blight.
A quick run through google showed Principe Borghese as fairly disease resistant, but not enough data to really say.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  walshevak on 8/29/2013, 6:58 am

A check with the county extension agent will give you information on disease resistance for your area and then you can ask again, based on his recommendations, for taste.  My son-in-law gave me two hybrid supersauce roma type plants from Burpee this year.  Fruits are about twice the size of my san marzanos, meaty and not dry mush tasting.  I have only eaten them raw, but the flavor is pretty good when fully ripened on the vine.  The plants got less than 6 feet tall. The tag said indeterminate so I pruned it to a 2 main stalk plant. Here are some on the vine in late July.



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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  camprn on 8/29/2013, 4:56 pm

I believe there is a previous thread about this very subject. Look in the canning section of the forum.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  TxGramma on 8/30/2013, 12:52 am

This is tomato heaven this is a good thread and the page I linked to (pg4) is where the varieties of sauce tomatoes are discussed.
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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  camprn on 8/30/2013, 6:11 am

Generally speaking, there are a few types of tomatoes: cherry types, beefsteak types for table (brandywines) and roma types for sauces/ preserving. San Marzano and gilbertie are my go to sauce/canning tomatoes.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/30/2013, 7:54 am

@camprn wrote:Generally speaking, there are a few types of tomatoes: cherry types, beefsteak types for table (brandywines) and roma types for sauces/ preserving. San Marzano and gilbertie are my go to sauce/canning tomatoes.
I tried some of camprn's gilbertie tomatoes this year. Couple things I've noticed. They are pretty decent to eat right off the vine with a bit of salt and pepper. Make a nice mater sandwich, and not bad in a fresh salsa. But they really shine and standout once cooked! Chop them up and add to a saute, or make a quick sauce. These tomatoes cook beautifully, and taste wonderful Wink  So far none of mine have been lucky enough to make it to the jar.

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Re: Types of Tomatoes

Post  Goosegirl on 8/30/2013, 8:02 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:These tomatoes cook beautifully, and taste wonderful Wink  So far none of mine have been lucky enough to make it to the jar.
rofl You may just regret that come January! rofl

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