For some unknown reason my first decent harvest of the season was massive. I ended up picking a large bucket of tomatoes this weekend, so I conned hubby into a little tomato tasting. He thinks that I am nuts, but tends to go along with things if there is wine involved. We ended up with about 35 different varieties to try – but only got through 20 before we had to take a break! We started with the cherries & the larger ones that were about to go over-ripe… the next day we finished off the rest! The leftovers are all frozen for winter recipes! Also noted are my mom (Joy) and family friend (Jeanette)’s tasting scores from later in the summer!
Quite a few of the tomatoes had large splits from the rain over the last few days. The flavours were a bit milder than usual – also due to rain. tomatoes take up more water than they can use and it splits the skin. I usually try not to water my tomatoes for a few days before a tasting, or pick them as soon as they blush before it rains, but didn’t think that it would rain for 3 days straight. Oh well…
GOOSE CREEK – A very pretty blemish-free round red. There are tons of tomatoes on the plant. We both found it a bit mild. No real zing or strong sweetness. Just OK. I have read that it gets better later in the season. I hope so. RATING: Hubby 5 Me 5.5 Update: It definately get richer & sweeter in later fruits! Yay! It has decent production on a chest high by September plant.
AMANA ORANGE – A large deep orange beefsteak, split from the rain. A very good taste, especially for an orange. It was sweet, yet nippy, strong tasting. Too bad that it splits so much. It has a not-so-good spot in the garden & is pumping out tomatoes anyway. I will grow it again next year & give it more of a chance. Makes nice sauce too! RATING: Hubby 8 Me 8 Joy 7 Jeanette 8
WHITE CURRANT – Easily the biggest plant this year. Produces thousands of small cherries. Actual colour is see-through yellow. Hubby describes it as “grape-like” taste & texture. Sweet unusual taste. I can’t decide if I like it or not. Grow again because of production! Joy & Jeanette loved it & it came in 2nd at the Buffalo-Niagara Tomato Taste Fest. RATING: Hubby 6 Me 6 Joy 8 Jeanette 8
CRNKOVIC YUGOSLAVIAN – A pretty deep pink nicely shaped beefsteak . Ripened early for a large tom. It is a prolific plant with large fruits. The taste is tomatoey, not sweet. Musty aftertaste. Hm… I am not sure that these are fully ripe, but it seems to go mushy if I leave them any longer. Hopefully this one improves later in the summer. RATING: Hubby 7 Me 6.5
CHILE VERDE – Mislabeled on the pic. A green when ripe plum/roma shaped cooking tomato. Of course, fresh eating blah. Bland, very bland. Will cook the next one & update! RATING : Hubby 4 Me 4.5 Update: made Chile Verde tomato sauce. Fabulous. Not as meaty as some, but it came out of the mill very thick & didn’t take long to cook down. Excellent taste. Grow again just for sauce!
BRANDYWINE YELLOW – mislabeled Cherokee Yellow in my pic (oops). More yellow than orange beefsteak. Already had several ripe fruits. Decently early in the garden this year. We both thought that it was nice, mild, slightly sweet. Basically good for a yellow. RATING: Hubby 5 Me 6.5
MINIGOLD CZECH – A tiny dwarf plant absolutely covered in large light yellow cherry tomatoes with a small point at the end. The taste was sour, but fresh. More citrusy with no “tomatoeyness.” I liked it for its unusual taste & would grow it again, as I could plant it in a tiny pot anywhere! Hubby thought it was so-so. He is harder to please & doesn’t have to think about how to squash the maximum amount of plants into our garden! RATING: Hubby 5 Me 7
Hubby loves the black and purple tomatoes. The darker & richer the colour the more he seems to enjoy them. I like the spiciness of the green when ripe fruit best. We both really enjoy the more traditional reds & pinks. We agree that the yellow & oranges tend to be too mild. We disagree on the bi-colours, which I adore & he thinks are bland. We both really like the extra-sweet cherries.
COYOTE – A white currant sized tomato that is really more see-through yellow. A very small plant in one of the worst spots in the garden. Looks a lot like White Currant, but has a very different taste. I liked the taste better but I don’t think it will ever match the production.Very sweet. Not my favourite cherry taste, but both really enjoyed the tiny sweet fruit. RATING: Hubby 8 Me 7.5
BLACK FROM TULA – A deep brick reddish-brown “black” beefsteak. Nicely formed without all of the rain splitting. Fairly small plant. We both agreed that we love it. Hubby says it is more like a fruit than a veg. Very rich tasting with a strong flavour. RATING: Hubby 9 Me 8.5
GRANDMA OLIVER’S GREEN – An amber-yellow green when ripe with dark green shoulders. A bit more yellow than most GWR’s inside as well. Nicely shaped & formed until the rain caused cracking at the top. Outstanding taste. Rich, tangy but sweet, hubby says nippy with good balanced flavour. I love it. Our favourite green of today’s tasting! RATING: Hubby 8.5 Me 8.5
LITHUANIAN (NOT)- Small, pink perfectly formed globes – should be beefsteak. Already a dozen ripe ones. Grow again & hope it comes out the same! Very sweet & tomatoey, almost like eating a cherry tomato. Flavourful & tasty. Joy & Jeanette’s clear favourite. RATING: Hubby 9 Me 8.5 Joy 9 Jeanette 9 Update – must be a cross. I can’t find anything that was supposed to look like this one!
GUERNSEY ISLAND PINK BLUSH – Supposed to be a pink cherry. A pink mini-roma. There are 2 strains of seeds circulating. Really cute, but kind of hard. Prolific with no splits. Hubby says extremely bland. I thought that it was a mild, candy-like taste. RATING: Hubby 2 ME 6 Joy 7 Jeanette 7 Update: Later in the season it get very tasty. No mushiness when cooked. Makes great salsa. Grow again.
LIMMONY – Extremely pretty small yellow oblate with no marks. A great surprise. Limmony is supposed to be a good addition to sauces with its citrusy taste! Fresh it is sweet, tasty, flavourful. If the taste improves with cooking I would be very pleased. Definate grow again. It has a pretty good output on a fairly small plant. I’m not sure how many will make it into a pot though! RATING: Hubby 8.5 Me 8.5 Joy 7 Jeanette 6
BRADLEY – Light pink globes with yellow shoulders. One of the top 3 seedlings for growth & strength. Grown in a large pot in a sheltered, sunny spot. The tomatoes are rotting on the vine in the higher heat. Does better in the cool air. Plain tasting. Sort of an average pink. A bit dull. RATING: Hubby 5 Me 6
Some tomatoes are incredibly bland until you find the correct use for them. Principe Borghese is AMAZING when sundried & tastes like mushy water when eaten fresh. Sometimes I cut them in half, soak them in oregano, red wine & basil overnight before drying. Mmmmm… Indian Delhi, Chili Verde & Costoluto Genovese are all much better when used for sauce.
CHARLIE’S GREEN – A mottled amber/green beefsteak. Most of the green when ripes look alike to me. Sadly this one was not as tasty as the other greens. A bit bland. RATING: Hubby 6 Me 6
GREEN DOCTOR’S FROSTED – A large green when ripe cherry with a light haze to the skin, making it look frosted. All split in the rain. Hard to tell when ripe, it stays very green with just a slight amber blush. We both agreed that this is a grow again. Sweet, rich, spicy in the way that only green when ripe tomatoes are. Love it. Joy & Jeanette are not green fans! RATING: Hubby 9 Me 9 Joy 5 Jeanette 5
AMAZON CHOCOLATE – An irregular shaped “black” tomato more pinkish than brown in my garden. Not as robust tasting as my usual blacks, but quite nice. Definately in the same “black” vein! Got a particularly bad spot in the paste area that was hit with septoria. A short plant – maybe in the greenhouse next year. RATING: Hubby 8 Me 7.5
LARGE BARRED BOAR – “black” and green stripes. Actually more brick-red & green to me! Pictured is a later ripe fruit. The ripe one today was an incredibly ugly multi-bloom fruit, making it kind of hard to cut for tasting. Half of it ended up in the hen run! Lucky chickens, as this is a good tomato. Tangy & rich. One of Hubby’s favourite taste of the day. RATING: Hubby 9 Me 8
SUNGOLD – A dark orange cherry. One of the few F1 hybrids in my garden. Try to leave it to taste until it is deep dark orange. It gets sweeter the longer that you leave it, but is prone to splitting with any rain or watering when ripe. An intense, super (almost sickly) sweet taste with a zing. Always extremely flavourful. If you like your tomatoes “tomatoey” you may not like this one. I love it. So does hubby. Absolutely amazing on bruschetta! Rarely makes it into the house. RATING: Hubby 8.5 Me 8.5 Joy 8 Jeanette 8
NICKY CRAIN – Dark pink slightly heart-shaped tomato. I’m not sure that this is a true heart. Reseving judgement (: Slightly over ripe. Mild, lightly sweet with no richness or tang. A good, but not stand out tomato. Mostly, I just grew it because we have the same name. RATING: Hubby 7 Me 7
INDIAN DELHI – Seeds given to me from a gardener in India, who collected them from a fruit bought at a stand in Delhi. Also had a Chennai Market variety growing but a late frost killed it ): All that I really know is that it is a round red fruit on a determinate plant. Nicely formed with no marks. RATING: Hubby Me
Tomato colour classifications are odd. Red & Pink toms are actually the same colour but one has a yellow tint to the skin, the other has a clear skin. Black tomatoes are actually more deep red or brown, sometimes purple, also with clear or yellow skin. Green when ripes are often more amber than green, although they are green inside. The only true green when ripe (Green Giant) has clear skin.
DR.WYCHE’S YELLOW – An orange beefsteak on a tall plant. Looks more like a bi-colour at the moment in my garden. Bi-colour inside too. Hmm… seed mix-up or cross? Whatever it is, the taste is sweet but unremarkable. I like other bi-colours better. The rain may have watered this one down – or I may have picked it too early. Decent. RATING: Hubby 7 Me 7.5
NOT FISH LAKE OXHEART – Supposed to be a large red heart-shaped tomato with Canadian origins (yay). Instead I got a very pretty pink with green shoulders. My seed source says that this is an off-type. Sorry no seeds to trade. Pity – Tasty. Zingy and sweet, kind of creamy texture. A fruity & wonderful aftertaste. Loved it. RATING: Hubby 8.5 Me 9
SUNSUGAR – An orange cherry. Tastes exactly like Sungold this year. Hubby actually prefers Sunsugar, as the cherries are just a bit larger! What he doesn’t know is that I eat them like candy when wandering throught the garden every morning. RATING: Hubby 9 Me 8.5
CHOCOLATE CHERRY – A “black” cherry. Actually brownish/purplish in my garden. Sadly (ha ha) I ate a bunch of them earlier in the day & only had one left to split with hubby for the tasting. Oops. Sweet, flavourful with a strong taste, but not sickly sweet like Sungold/sugar. Love it. We decided that we actually like this one best out of the cherries. Pity that I planted it by the backyard fence in partial shade & it is growing very slowly. Next year it will get a good spot in the garden. RATING: Hubby 9.5 Me 9
SWEETIE – A smallish red cherry. Very tomatoey tasting. Not a strong taste. We both like our cherries sweeter. RATING: Hubby 4 Me 5
BLUSH – Striking looking new bi-colour. Glints metallic in the sun. Tiny red stripes shot through metallic orange & yellow on an elongated pointy cherry. Thick skin & prolific. Bland so far this year. RATING: Hubby 6 Me 6.5 Update – September these are one of my favourites! Tangy, sweet, like wine. Never splits. Even the tough Joy/Jeanette tasters loved it. RATING: Me 8.5 Joy 8 Jeanette 8
BLACK KRIM – Black Beefsteak, actually more apple red again this year. Very good taste. This fruit had a large split & seemed very watered down for our usual Black Krim. It is one of our favourites & always grown. Not the best at this tasting, but normally would rate much higher. RATING: Hubby 8 Me 8
This year I am growing 150 different varieties. I am hoping to pick our favourites of each colour & shape to grow again next & maybe cut down the variety list a bit. Then again (don’t tell hubby) – I could grow the ones that we love again & try about 100 new ones as well. I definitely need to think about getting out the rototiller to make a few more tomato beds. Hmmmm… (: Maybe we just need more land!
GERMAN CASCADE – A round deep red tomato with no known history. I have already harvested quite a few. It is a decent, middle of the road tomato. Not overly tasty & would get lost on a BLT, but not bad. Good production. I gave a seedling to my brother. His plant has a ton of fruit & is much larger than mine. RATING: Hubby 5 Me 6.5
GARY ‘O SENA – A tall plant with huge black beefsteaks that are actually a smokey purplish brown. A very meaty tomato with few seeds. A little dull tasting, but definately decent. It is producing good sized fruit & lots of them, so the ranking improves (: RATING: Hubby 8 Me 8
FIRST MATE – A bicolour black & green tomato. Actually sort of purplish-pink with amber green stripes. It 1st appeared in a grow out of Captain Lucky. The only difference between the tomatoes is that Captain Lucky is a potato leaf & First Mate is a regular leaf plant. I don’t have any Captain Lucky ripe yet to compare… but First Mate is awesome. Very tasty, good balanced flavour. Mmmm… may be the overall favourite of the tasting. RATING: Hubby 9 Me 9.5
PRINCIPE BORGHESE – A small red pointy plum shaped tomato. Perfect for drying when cut in half. Not so perfect for fresh eating. Plain tasting, like a bland Roma (says hubby). Thick skin. Then we tasted the sundried from last week it was zingy, rich & extremely flavourful. RATING: Fresh – Hubby 4 Me 5, Dried – Hubby 9 Me 9
EVERGREEN – Green when ripe with an amber blush. My favourite tomato in the garden last year. A bit disappointing this year. Washed out. I will quit watering it & try again. Grandma Oliver’s Green was better today. Please improve Evergreen. I love you when you are at your best (: Still very prolific – one of 3 varieties that I planted more than one plant! RATING: Hubby 7.5 Me 8
COSTOLUTO GENOVESE – A beautiful ribbed bright red tomato. I already used several this year making curry bases. When cooked it is very rich & sweet. When fresh it is odd to taste. The ribbing makes it a mouthful of skin with a bland red tomato flavour. One of my favourites for cooking. When cooked it is amazing! RATING: Fresh – Hubby 4 Me 4 Cooked – Hubby 8 Me 9
ARBUZNYI – A beautiful black/red/green striped naturally shiny fruit! A very cool looking tomato. The plant is tiny – but has a horrible spot in the garden. This tomato & Amazon Chocolate would likely be a lot better given better soil & growing conditions. Not rich tasting tomato but decent. Maybe give the plant another try in the garden next year. RATING: Hubby 7 Me 7
NOT PICTURED on the plates:
CHEROKEE PURPLE – Funny, this is supposed to be a fantastic tomato. I have grown it 3 times & just don’t see it. It pumps out TONS of fruit. The plant is vigorous. It is bland. VERY bland. This one was grown in the greenhouse, so overwatering/rain is not a problem. RATING: Hubby 5 Me 5.5
JD”S SPECIAL C-TEX – A very attractive looking tomato on a very tall plant. This tasting was a bit bland with definate sweet undertones. No real aftertaste. RATING: Hubby 7 Me 7
Chocolate Cherry was the best tasting cherry with honourable mention to Green Doctors Frosted. Sunsugar and Sungold were the sweetest of the day.
Full sized tomato favourites were Black From Tula, Limmony, Fish Lake Oxheart, First Mate and Not-Lithuanian!
Luckily the favourites are all doing well & have decent production. They have won a spot in the garden again next year!