Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Favorite Tomatoes

Here is my list of favorites:

Ananas Noir —The name of this Belgian tomato, introduced by Pascal Moreau in 2005, is French for black pineapple. Produces a large, sprawling, regular leaf plant that yields heavy crop of 1-1½ pounds, round, dark-purple, fruit with green shoulders. Interior color is a tie-dye like mix of pink, red, green yellow colors.  Loaded with an abundance of rich and delicious, full-bodied, sweet and smoky flavors with a whollop of acidity. A great new addition to the list of splendid black tomatoes. Try this tomato in a salad with other colors. Makes a delicious rich tomato sauce. 

Anna Russian — An heirloom oxheart variety from Brenda Hillenius, of Oregon, who got from her grandfather, Kenneth Wilcox, who received seeds from a Russian immigrant. An excellent, gorgeous tomato. Early maturing for a heart-shaped tomato, the large, visually beautiful, pink-red fruit normally weighs about 1 pound. Superb rich old-fashioned, tomato flavors with lots of juice.

Azoyschka — A very productive Russian heirloom found at the Bird Market in Moscow. ("Azoychka" is a woman's name). An indeterminate, open-pollinated. regular-leaf tomato plant that produces an abundant crop (40-50 tomatoes per plant) of smooth, 3”, 10-16 ounce, slightly flattened oblate, meaty, yellow/orange tomatoes with a luscious sweet citrusy flavor. Dependably productive, delicious and deservedly in demand. Unlike most yellow tomatoes this variety has a good acidic balance to its fruity sweetness resulting in lots of robust, complex flavors. A great variety suited to coastal and both warm to cooler growing regions. Produces well into the season. Great for eating in salads, sliced into a sandwich, cooking in sauces or canning. 68-78 days to maturity.

Black from Tula — Russian heirloom from Tula. Largest of the black tomatoes with 3-4", slightly flattened, oblate, dark brown to purple fruit with deep green shoulders. Deliciously outstanding, rich, slightly salty, smoky-fruit flavor. 

Brandywine Red — Red Brandywine is an Old Amish heirloom dating back to 1885. Named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, PA. Large, vigorous vines produce 8-12 ounce, deep-red fruits in clusters of 4 to 6. Excellent, robust, old-fashioned tomato flavors. 90 days, indeterminate. 2006-2012

Brandywine Yellow — An Amish heirloom variety.  A bright yellow fruit with a superb flavor similar to the other black and red varieties.

Caspian Pink — Originally grown in southern Russia between the Caspian and Black Seas. Thought by some to be "Queen of the Pinks," these prolific, 1-2 pound, globe-shaped, pink-red beefsteak tomatoes that rival Brandywine in popularity and flavor. One of the best known and best-tasting Russian tomatoes. This tomato is perfect for cooler climates. My FAVORITE tomato. OMG one of these on a BLT!  To die for!

Dr. Wyche's Yellow — Given to SSE by the late Dr. John Wyche. Heavy yields of one pound golden-yellow tomatoes. Meaty flesh and rich flavor. Indeterminate, 75-85 days from transplant.  

Japanese Black Trifele — Russian origin. In Russia the Trifele varieties of tomatoes (of which there are several colors) are highly prized and command big prices. This short potato leaf plant yields prolific quantities of 6 oz. fruit that looks like a beautiful mahogany-colored Bartlett pear with greenish shoulders. Very tasty flesh with a meaty core that produces luscious fruit all summer long. A work of art sliced out on a plate and a wonderful flavor that possesses extraordinary rich and complex flavors. Resistant to cracking. Indeterminate, 70-80 days from transplant.  Really super tomato! 

Jaune Flame — Beautiful heirloom that originated with Norbert Perreira of Helliner, France. Early crops of apricot-colored 4 ounce fruits borne on elongated trusses. Excellent fruity flavor with a perfect blend of sweet and tart. Great for drying or roasting, retains deep orange color. Indeterminate, 70-80 days from transplant.  Used these to make really good roasted salsa! 

Mortgage Lifter — A classic old-time, heirloom tomato. A red strain of the Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter that has almost become one of America's favorites. Large, indeterminate, regular-leaf, tomato plants produce good crops of 1-2 pound, slightly ribbed, meaty, red, beefsteak tomatoes with the perfectly rich, sweet, bold, old-fashioned tomato flavors in 85 days. An ideal sandwich tomato. Also a good market tomato due to its taste and beauty.  

Olirose de St. Domanique - 75 days, pink oval fruit, plum-like skin, excellent sweet flavor.  Plant hat many small fruits. Made great sauce.

Oregon Spring — Favorite variety for early silver-dollar sized, bright-red tomatoes. Earliest fruit have little or no seeds. This bush variety was developed at Oregon State University for gardeners with cool summer seasons. Slightly flattened, lusciously sweet and juicy. 60 days, indeterminate.  

Plate de Haiti - The fruits are small-medium and meaty. Made great sauce. 

Paul Robeson — This "black" beefsteak tomato is slightly flattened, round, and grows to 4”. Its deep, rich colors stand it apart from others a dusky, dark-red, with dark-green shoulders, and red flesh in its center. Very flavorful fruits with luscious, earthy, exotic flavors and good acid/sweet balance.  As this tomato variety originates from Siberia and sets fruits at lower temps, it is an excellent choice for cooler growing regions. 

Pineapple — An heirloom garden favorite that grows to 2 pounds. This bi-colored, slightly flattened, yellow beefsteak has a red blushing and streaks on the outside. Its yellow interior contains few seeds and a red star-burst in the center. Taste is wonderfully mild with tropical fruity-sweet flavors. 

Pruden’s Purple — Many folks find this tomato variety comparable in every way to the favorite Brandywine. It has even ranked higher at times in taste trials. Great for hot day and cool night climate. Large potato leaf vine produces lots of 1 pound, slightly flattened, pretty, blemish-free, purple-pink fruits with few tomato seeds and excellent flavor.  

Stupice — One of four tomato varieties sent to the U.S. from the former Czechoslovakia by Milan Sodomka. Compact plants with potato leaf foliage loaded with clusters of 2” fruits. Quite early, great flavor. Heavy yields all season. Produces well in northern climates. Indeterminate, 55-70 days from transplant.

Striped German — Beautiful 1-2 pound fruit with red-yellow stripes and dense, juicy, red-yellow streaked flesh. Excellent sweet, complex flavors. Produces till frost. 78 days, indeterminate.

Taxi — The best tomato variety for an early, lemon-yellow tomato. Seeds produce compact, bushy, determinate, regular-leaf tomato plants that yield 4-6 ounce, meaty, uniformly-round, delicious, bright-yellow  tomatoes that are very sweet (almost seem acid-free). A wonderful choice to add a zesty spark to tomato salads or a splash of bright yellow color to your favorite salsas. Tomatoes hold up well to slicing and they are very suitable for sandwiches. Taxi can be grown well in most areas. They even hold up well in hot, humid growing regions. 

Tomatoes I won't grow again:  

Indigo Rose — Supposed to be a purple variety. Tomatoes themselves were very small and hard. Flavor was okay. The plant grew to 5' tall, but had very low yield.  

Moskovich — A wonderful, extra-early tomato. This heirloom yields an abundance of deep red, 4-6 ounce, smooth, cold-tolerant, round and slightly flattened fruits with a luscious, rich taste. Even earlier than Stupice.  Often gets blossom end rot :(

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