Ahh, the long-awaited tomato post. Both to enlighten my many readers and help me keep track of these things in future years, I’m going to list all the varieties that I’m going to grow, or try to. Some I’ve grown before, many are new. As I’ve mentioned before, I love colorful food, so I’m covering most of my bases as far as tomato colors go. It definitely adds an extra element when you have a beautiful dish, and you know that much of it was grown right outside. Anyways, the list.
Green Grape – Unique olive yellow 1″ cherry tomatoes on very productive plants. Addictive spicy sweet flavor.
New one for me, but I like cherries, and I’m intrigued by the flavor – I’ve done the Green Zebra tomatoes in the past and they’re almost… tangy?
Mexico Midget – Hundreds of ½-¾” dark red cherry tomatoes on each plant. Huge tomato flavor for such small fruits.
This one takes the award for Politically Incorrect Tomato of 2011.
Blondkopfchen – Small golden yellow 1″ fruits borne in giant clusters, excellent sweet taste.
A good German tomato.
Sungold – One of the premier varieties of cherry tomatoes. The Sungold ripens to a golden orange, with a very sweet flavor.
I’ve heard good things about this one as being very sweet. I like some tomato flavor with my sweetness, so we’ll see how the balance works out.
Giant Syrian – Heavy yields of heart-shaped pink fruits with green shoulders that rarely crack. Meaty fruits often exceed one pound in weight. Excellent flavor.
I wanted a larger variety, and this one sounded interesting.
Japanese Black Trifele – High yields of blemish-free fruits that rarely crack. Rich full flavor, great for canning.
Again, interested in the flavor – I’ve heard that black tomatoes taste a little earthy?
Moonglow – Uniform bright orange globes with solid flesh, few seeds, and mild sweetness.
This one’s mostly for the color – an orange slicer. But the taste had better be good too if it wants a repeat performance.
Opalka – Phenomenal set of 3″ by 6″ red paste tomatoes on vigorous wispy vines. Excellent flavor and very few seeds make this a perfect processing tomato.
One of two past tomatoes – this one got good accolades.
San Marzano – Compact and prolific producer of bright-red, slim, 2-3 inch, plum-type, fruit over a long season.
THE paste tomato, according to many people. I’m excited to see how it performs here.
Redfield Beauty – Flattened pink 3-4″ fruits with excellent full flavor.
An average size, red slicing tomato.
Principe Borghese – Prolifically yield big clusters of 1-2 oz. red, plum shaped, crack-resistant paste tomatoes… prized for drying because they retain more flavor than most other drying varieties.
I got these because of word-of-mouth. I’d like to dry my own tomatoes for the long, long Northeast Ohio winters.
Costoluto Genovese – Large, juicy Italian heirloom tomato with an acidic-tart full-tomato flavor well suited for slicing and serving fresh or cooking.
I’ve also grown these before, and they taste good, but I really like the appearance too – on the flatter side and very lobed/ruffled.
So there’s the current list. As usual, I’ve started too many from seed, but that’s par for the course. As you can see (okay, maybe not – I wouldn’t know most of them either), I definitely like to go the heirloom route. I like the tradition and history of the many different varieties (and not just limited to tomatoes), like knowing that this particular one was grown by Thomas Jefferson. And I especially love the multitude of shapes, colors, sizes, and flavors that you can get.
Anybody have any suggestions that aren’t on this list? What’s your favorite tomato?
kristin @ going country says
I love Black Krims. SUCH good flavor, though they are prone to twisting oddly and cracking. Also love Stupice, which are always my earliest. Baby Cakes are a crazily prolific and delicious cherry variety that’s really good for juice. I wasn’t too enthused with the Moonglow when I grew it a few years ago, but I do like the San Marzanos for canning–much bigger than Romas.
My husband’s cousin is supposed to give me some of the Black Trifele’s this year, if he has any. I hope he does–I love trying new varieties.