Tomato tasting, 2019

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Master Chef
Nov 21, 2018
Woodbury, NJ
3 friends and I got together tonight and tasted tomatoes!

Earlier, I went out and harvested a few, as I noted, and here are some photos. The larger one, and also two showing the core in one of the Beefy Boys. I remember this happening on almost every tomato of some varieties in the past - this hard, whitish, core area, that has to be cut out. Hopefully this was just an unusual occurrence.
Big Beef, L, next to the Beefy Boy with the huge core. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Largest so far, a Beefy Boy. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here are almost all of the varieties of tomatoes we were going to sample. A couple we didn't remember to include:
Tomatoes L>R Beefy Boy, Goliath Pio, Pretty In Pink, Big Beef, Black Vernisage, Sunset Falls, Unk. 1, Unk 2, Chef's Choice Green, Amish Gold Slicer, Pink Champagne, Black Opal, Jasper, Sprite Grape, Sunsugar, and Cherry Bomb. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here's the list, giving my results with growing on some of them, as well.

New (for me)

Larger varieties

Beefy Boy
Good, but not quite as good as Big Beef. And some I have had to cut larger areas of the core out of, than most. Largest tomato of any,s so far - 18.30 oz. Also the first to ripen, in the larger tomatoes.

Chef's Choice F1
This wasn't what the catalog said, thus it's one of my "Unk" varieties. Plum shaped, though not a plum, as it has juice. Good, but it was also one of those that came down with aphids, while most had none.

Chef's Choice Green
This did look like the Chef's choice in the catalog, and ripened green. Nothing spectacular in flavor. Not a keeper.

Goliath Pio
This was the second aphid attracting tomato. It eventually got rid of it, but the plants did not look great afterwards. The flavor wasn't as strong as the Big Beef, but had good tomato flavor, and one taster put this on the top of their list. One of the later larger ones to ripen, but it's finally catching up.

Lime Green Salad
This is a small, under 2 ft. plant, with 3 oz or under fruits. No great flavor, but crispy, even when fully ripe, and no unpleasant flavors. It's a determinate - the other reason it's not a keeper, to me. The seeds were freebies - I guess they were testing them out.

Another small plant, with small plum like tomatoes. Flavor not bad, but not productive at all, so not a keeper.

Smaller varieties

Black Opal
This one had good flavor, but would have some develop bad flavor, without being able to tell which ones (spitters!). That, and the plant being prone to some disease, makes it not a keeper, for me.

Cherry Bomb F1
LARGE cherry tomato - ping pong or golf ball sized. Good flavor - not quite as tart as Jasper, but has a well balanced flavor. A little later ripening than other cherries, but still before 7-4. Large numbers of tomatoes. Problem was the yellowing of the plants, next to others having no problems. I'll see how they turn out in the long run.

Jasper F1
These are about a scant inch in diameter, and have a lot of tomatoes on the plants. They ripened before 7-4, but they tend to keep a yellow "shoulder" on the fruits, even when ripened almost a week on the counter. On that note, I never had one go bad on the counter, as many cherries do. The flavor is good, with a tartness, that some didn't like, but I like that, for some things, but not for snacking on.

Pink Champagne F1
This is a pink grape tomato, with a good flavor, but some tasted under-ripe, even when appearing totally ripe. Not a huge plant, and not super productive, so not a keeper, for me.

This is a trade seed I got this year, and the tomatoes are better than any grapes I have had or grown before. Strange plant, in that the leaves seemed small and few, with a huge number of tomatoes, and I wondered how such a small number of leaves could support that many fruits! The tomatoes are somewhat sweet, with a slightly tart flavor to go with it, and a good tomato flavor. Everyone liked them, and we all noticed the crispness, even though these had been ripening several days on the counter.


Larger Varieties

Amish Gold Slicer
None ripe yet - just the one with a slightly green shoulder, and the second one a little less ripe, but they are starting! I wish we had them, as the last few years they came in second and third in the tasting.

Big Beef
Came in first again! 3 of 4 of us had it on top, and the one who had the Goliath on top, had this second. Definitely a great tomato flavor, with a balanced flavor, and that juiciness needed in a good tomato!

Burracker's Favorite
None ripe yet - late variety.

Pretty In Pink
This was second for two of us, and 3rd and 4th for the other two, so it was 2nd overall, we figured. Good flavor, not quite as strong as the Big Beef, but better balanced than the Beefy Boy, was the general consensus.

Smaller Varieties

Green Tiger
One of my favorites every year, but the ones I got this season were NOT green tigers - a larger, red, unknown variety. Not bad, but not what I wanted. I'll find another source!

Sunset Falls - succession plant
This one I grew again, after getting an incredible number of tomatoes from just one plant last season, which had a great flavor. They are about 2-2 1/2" x 1", and ripen striped orange/yellow. It's a determinate, which I rarely plant, and as soon as the large number of tomatoes came off of the small plant, it dies! As much as I liked them, the later plants didn't produce as well - must not like heat - so I probably won't do this again. Everyone liked the flavor, as last year.

As always, these are some of the best, though the incredible sweetness makes them good for other than usual things, like snacking on, som tum, and making raisin like dried tomatoes. Or anywhere else the sweetness is an advantage. They do have a great tomato flavor to go with it, as well, unlike some sweet ones I've tried.

When we were winding this up, I asked them when they wanted to come over for a chile tasting, since they are getting ready to ripen. I got dirty looks from a couple of them.
Nice variety you got there.
IF we were neighbors , id be right there with you at the tomato tasting!!

Its amazing how just 100 or so miles south makes so much of a difference in ripening times. I still have a few weeks.

I have a few scattered grape tomatoes and Sun Gold ( which are Orange ). First year I grew these and they are so sweet. Kind of like an orange cherry tomato.

I have the once variety, a friend gave me a tomato from her garden. She was unsure of the variety, but it was so large, you had to actually store it upside down, cause its own weight would bruise itself from the pressure of sitting on the counter.

I saved the seeds and have been growing it each season for the last 20 years . I ran out of seeds from the original, so have been growing from its offspring ( which are likely genetically different due to cross pollination, but still look and taste the same).

A few years back, none of the seeds germinated, so I wasn't able to grow them. I figured the seeds must have gone bad after so many years. So I stopped, until last year, I came across more seeds I had tucked away from the original. I planted them and all sprouted, so now Ive got them back again. They are by far my favorite tomato.

Picked a decent sized beet today ( I'm the worst beet grower, they are usually smaller than golf balls, so this one I was proud of, Ill post a pic later)
Larry, I hope you are going to have slightly cooler weather up there, as the heat down here caused major blossom drop on my tomatoes, and we are headed to high 90s, possibly 100° this weekend. I forgot to add info about that - Pretty in Pink was one of the large ones that's still got a generous number of blossoms open; the cherries seem less affected, which is why I always grow so many cherry varieties, and try new ones, as well. The sunsugar seems least bothered by the heat, the Jasper still has a good number of blossoms, and the cherry bomb has less, but still flowering. The good thing about the cherries is that even if they do have a time with no blossoms, when they start up again, the tomatoes are ready soon, whereas with large ones, there is a long wait. I'm going to have a long break after these large tomatoes are all ripened, as there aren't many blossoms there, and there is a long wait for large tomatoes from bloom to ripe.

This is why many commercial growers have moved out of Jersey, since it's not the perfect place to grow tomatoes anymore.

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