Heirloom Tomato Tasting

It’s been slow going for our tomato plants this year. The cold, cloudy spring and dry summer have basically put our plants on pause. Still, they are growing — albeit at a glacial pace — and producing. They’re just several weeks behind schedule.

When we lost most of our vining tomato seedlings, we replaced them with transplants. To cheer ourselves up, we took advantage of the opportunity to sample several new-to-us varieties. Here’s our first basket:


Not pictured: our Amish paste and Paisano tomatoes, which are all still green on the vine. We also planted a new variety called “Mexico,” but the one reddish one wasn’t quite ready to be picked yet. Below is one of everything except Early Girl (the small red one in the 10 o’clock position above), which is a perfectly okay tomato if you like the grocery store kind.


Above we have the more interesting ones for tasting. Top row, from the left: Black Krim, Rose, Red Brandywine. Bottom row: Yellow Pear, Sungold, Green Zebra.

Kirk and I sliced these up and ate them plain to get a good comparison. Here are our tasting notes:

Black Krim: Nice flavor. Less acidic and a little earthy around the skin.

Rose: My all-time favorite tomato. Its meaty throughout, with barely any goo around the seeds at all. Acidic and bright, with tons of amazing tomato flavor. 

Red Brandywine: Mild and not as tomato-y as I have been led to believe. It’s more flavorful near the skin, but this one was pretty seedy. Maybe it’s a dud? I don’t get what everyone keeps going on about

Yellow Pear: Very mild, kind of mealy. Meh.

Sungold: Very tomato-y, very acidic. Bears early and often. Great for snacking.

Green Zebra: Very sweet, with a slightly tart finish. Thick outer flesh kind of makes me want to try drying them.

We had planned on planting Black Krim from seed, and that seems like a solid choice — we really liked it. It remains to be seen if our plant produces a better Brandywine later; in the meantime, we’re looking forward to a Mexico ripening to give that a go!

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