|Persimmon and Early Girl|
With all the new varieties Mr. Glad and I are growing this summer, we can have our own Backyard Tomato Tasting Festival.
It’s the best tomato year in at least a decade, partly because we planted more vines, and maybe for some other reasons we are mulling over.
Trays and platters and bowls of tomatoes are crowding the kitchen counters and tables. Time to make soup or just freeze some after I peel and dice them — and take their pictures, of course.
|Juliet, SunSugar, Northern Lights|
There are some puzzling and disappointing results, like Czech Bush, which was billed by our nursery as being an “orange slicer,” but bears red fruits the size of a large cherry.
Ailsa Craig is in theory interesting, as Tatiana writes on her TOMATObase site, “…a variety of tomato that has been an experimental staple of tomato molecular biology and biotechnology. Originally Ailsa Craig, named for a small rocky island off the coast of England, was grown for greenhouse production of tomatoes in Great Britain. Apparently this crop is particularly important for English breakfasts.”
None of the English or Scottish breakfasts I knew featured tomatoes that small. One seed site predicted 1.5-oz. fruits, another “medium” size, and another 70-90 gm. for Ailsa Craig. I must have read the “medium” word last spring, but now that heirloom tomatoes are so popular, in the future I will do more research, as on Tatiana’s site, and have fewer surprises. And I know now that I want my slicers to be a minimum of 8 oz.
Northern Lights is a pinkish tomato that we expected to be “smallish,” but it was a local news columnist’s “favorite red tomato! Very productive….” The flavor is truly fantastic, but again, they are too small to slice, and too large to pop into the mouth like a cherry tomato — and anyway, we have plenty of cherry tomatoes.
The Brazilian Beauty fruits aren’t large, but the plant is loaded with fruit. I like the unusual flavor, often called “smoky,” and I would like to plant them again, but I’m not sure my husband would go for it. I like having a “black” tomato, and these are nicely shaped and look good arranged on a plate with other varieties.
|Brazilian Beauty, Persimmon, and Early Girl|
Isn’t that Persimmon gorgeous? It tastes divine, too. I think we will always plant Persimmon tomatoes if we can get them. (In the old days it was Jubilees we adored for orange tomatoes.)
Our one Early Girl plant continues to amaze us – the many fruits are running 8 oz. or more, and are perfect smooth globes with great flavor. The local nursery’s special hybrid is a similarly big, productive and luscious specimen.
Yesterday we made grilled cheese and BLT sandwiches with orange, red and black tomatoes in them. I slice Juliets and Sunsugars in half and throw them into salads, and grab a few as I’m walking past throughout the day.
September is often our biggest tomato month. Even as the nights are getting chillier, and apples are coming on, we are surrounded by these lavish gifts of Summer.