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I taste-tested tomatoes today...

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I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  quiltbea on 9/9/2010, 11:41 pm

My dau-in-law and I taste-tested the tomatoes I have recently picked and much to my surprise, we agree on all of them.

From left to right: Green Zebra (a small one, they come larger usually), Moskvich, Purple Cherokee, and Delicious.
In order of best flavor:
1. Moskvich
2. Green Zebra
3. Purple Cherokee
4. Delicious
I'm surprised to tell you that the one named Delicious, was the least flavorful of the 4. In fact, it was very bland. A lovely tomato in its uniformity, but lacking great flavor. It also took the most time to develop, 90 days on the packet.
The others we liked in the last week of picking were:
White Cherry and Matt's Wild Cherry for the best tasting cherry tomatoes.
San Marzano Gigante 3 for sauce. This tom grows approx 4.5 inches long and is great for sauces and salsas. The Bellstar I tried, another sauce variety, wasn't as tasty nor as prolific in producing for me.
The tomato Rose is pretty good for a salad tomato but the heirloom Brandywine did not produce for me this year. It was badly attacked by the tomato hornworm before I even knew about them and their damage, so all I have are a few small green Brandywines on the vine right now. I'll try them again next year because I hear such good things about them.
For an ultra-early I'm going to try Oregon Spring (determinate) again next year just because its the earliest and when one wants to taste really fresh tomatoes and not ones from the grocer, Oregon Spring is the one. Its got enough flavor to be fine that early in the season, but can't compare with the Moskvich, Green Zebra and Matt's and White Cherry but they come along later.


Here's some Oregon Spring and Matt's Wild Cherry in mid-July. The Matt's is a very tasty little guy and makes a great snack.
I have some new varieties I'll be trying next year but in the meantime, I'm trying to save some of the Matt's, White Cherry, Moskvich, and Green Zebra seeds for next spring.
I didn't have very good luck earlier with some of them, so I'm hoping for better results this time.
Has anyone else got any reports on their best-tasting tomatoes this year?
I'd love to hear them.

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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  Chopper on 9/10/2010, 12:03 am

Good to know. You have done all of us a huge service. I am looking at that Moskvich for next year.

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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  miinva on 9/10/2010, 12:07 am

We grew 18 or 19 kinds of tomatoes this year. The biggest disappointment was the Goldman's Italian. It looks neat (it's fig-shaped) and grows vigorously, but the tomatoes are a disappointment when it comes to flavor. My favorite cherry tomato was Red Currant. They're extremely prolific and productive. A bit more work to harvest, but worth every bit of it! Each little tomato is like a burst of intense tomato flavor in your mouth. My next favorite as far as flavor goes was the Flamme. It's orange, is a bit bigger than a cherry tomato, and the flavor is excellent. Next comes Big Rainbow, which was a great producer of beautiful, flavorful tomatoes, closely followed by the Potato Leaf Hillbilly, which bore large orange tomatoes with great flavor. Carolina Gold produces a flavorful yellow tomato that's a bit bigger than a regular cherry tomato. I had good luck with San Marzano and found it to be pretty tasty (it's an heirloom similar to Roma).

I like Virginia Sweets and carbons too, but I didn't have luck growing them for some reason. I'm going to try again next year. I'm a big fan of cherry tomatoes so I always grow a couple of varieties. I thought the Black Cherry tomatoes were beautiful, but I had a hard time determining when they were ripe.

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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  Megan on 9/10/2010, 7:00 am

@miinva wrote:I thought the Black Cherry tomatoes were beautiful, but I had a hard time determining when they were ripe.

Interesting... I just pick them when they were purplish....? (Says me with a bunch of big tomatoes on my windowsill!)
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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  quiltbea on 9/10/2010, 11:43 am

I pick my Black Cherry toms when the green is just about gone from their shoulders and find they are ripe. I like the flavor, but not as well as the Matt's Wild and White Cherry (which is actually a yellow color) but they look good in a salad. Very dark and different.

I've never tried a currant tomato. Matt's is very small probably like the currants and bursts with flavor. That's why we all eat them like a snack. Just pop them into our mouths and mmmmm good. I'll look for a currant variety to try next year if its more prolific.

I've already got my Centiflor seed for next year and I have a few others in mind, but believe me, I'll have about 6 Moskvich planted next year for sure.

In the north, we have to get the ones that don't take as long to mature since we start planting later than the south and stop much sooner as well.
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Here's a comparison in sizes....

Post  quiltbea on 9/10/2010, 12:38 pm

I took some pictures so you could see the difference in sizes.

Left to Right: Moskvich weighs 6.5 oz, Black Cherry ripe, White cherry a little larger than a quarter, and last is the Matt's Wild Cherry less that the size of a dime.
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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  miinva on 9/10/2010, 4:32 pm

My black cherry's weren't that black... hmmm?

The red currant is a bit smaller than the Matt's, although I got a recommendation for Matt's Wild from a friend as well, so next year I might try it Smile

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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  quiltbea on 9/10/2010, 9:40 pm

Miinva....The Black Cherry is really a deep wine red, not black.

If my Matt's Wild Cherry seeds dry properly, I'll be posting them on the seeds available thread so I could send you some for next year. I'll just need a self-addressed stamped envelope sent to me. I'll post when I have some to offer. Keep your eyes peeled. I should know in a day or two what I have available.
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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  miinva on 9/10/2010, 9:42 pm

There are a few red currants on the plant that have shriveled and dried. I'd be happy to send you a couple of those in exchange Smile I need to split one of the little tomatoes open and see if there are teeny seeds in there, because I've never felt them when I've eaten one. If I find little seeds, I'll save some! Very Happy

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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  acara on 9/11/2010, 6:11 am

Good grief ...I've gotta get a book or something ...

This post just increased my knowledge base of tomato varieties 10x ..lol

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Tomato taste tests

Post  ander217 on 9/12/2010, 9:23 am

One thing I've learned about heirlooms is that they are usually originally grown specifically to one type of climate. They may or may not produce well in other regions. For example, although I love Brandywines, I only get about one crop in three from them. They do not like high heat.

With a very hot summer here, this year I can tell you that although the flavor of Aunt Ruby's German Green is fantastic, ours only set one tomato the entire season. I'll try again next year and hope for a cooler summer. The Green Grape tomatoes continued to produce but the flavor of them wasn't as good once the high heat hit.

I like the flavor of yellow pear tomatoes but I've never been able to grow one here in our hot, humid climate for more than a few months. It's always the first of my 'maters to die.

Our Sweet 100 cherry is the only tomato we grew this year that produced all summer long, even through weeks of 100+ temperatures and 80% + humidity. It had a good flavor - I've had better, but it was good. Although it's not an heirloom I'll plant one each year just to insure a crop of something no matter what the weather.

When comparing tomatoes it might be helpful to find recommendations from those who live in your own growing zone, or find descriptions in the seed catalog that say if it is recommended for heat, humidity, cooler regions, etc. What works in the hot, humid South doesn't always work in the cooler or drier regions of the country, and vice versa. Then again, it's fun to try something different and maybe be pleasantly surprised.
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Re: I taste-tested tomatoes today...

Post  Megan on 9/12/2010, 10:54 am

That is a really good reminder, Ander. Thank you.

For the database: I successfully grew yellow pear tomatoes here in Manassas. I bought the plant from a big box store and buried almost all of it according to the directions, and it did great, with minimal care from me.

My Cherokee Purple and Black Cherry tomatoes are producing. My Gold Medal is VERY slow -- I've gotten one ripe one from it so far, though it's beautiful. Maybe it needs hotter weather??
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