Week #11 – Tomato time

This marks the end of the first half of the season. Our 22 week journey started the first week of June and will end the last week of October, but now we have made it half way through. It is hard to believe there are still 11 more weeks to go after this week. I also find it hard to believe that just 11 weeks ago we were starting the CSA, it seems so long ago.

We end this first half of the CSA season with an explosion of tomatoes. The field tomatoes are finally ready after this cooler summer. So you can get familiar with all the varieties you may find in your share I’ll give a quick list, picture, and description of them all.

BrandywinePink Brandywine – This is a classic heirloom tomato. It is credited to be the tomato that brought heirlooms into popular demand. It is pink and has a great sweat flavor.

Green ZebraGreen Zebra – These smaller tomatoes are greenish yellow when ripe with darker green stripes running down the sides. I love these for salads or if I just need one tomato for a sandwich.

Aunt Ruby’s German GreenAunt Ruby’s Green – These are sometimes a hard one to harvest because they are difficult to know when they are fully ripe. Mainly because they are green. They are also not always that great when it comes to good looking quality fruit. Despite this, I really like them and I think they are a great tasting tomato. Not too acidic and fairly mild.

Pruden’s PurplePurden’s Purple – Rather than the image I was relying on the name in that I was hoping for a more purple tomato. They are new for me this year and I have not knowingly eaten one of these yet for this season. Regardless, here is what the seed catalog said about their flavor, “a silken texture and rich tomato taste, nicely tart with a balanced undertone of sweetness neither insipid nor cloying”.

Black KrimBlack krim – I started growing these one year as an alternative to Cherokee purple, which kept having fruit quality issues. Well this year I am growing both because I like both of them for different reasons. I really like their dark rich flavor even though the fruit does not last long when fully ripe.

GoldieGoldie – I started growing this tomato a couple years ago thinking it was a great orange tomato, which it does taste good, however, this may be it’s last season as I tried some new orange tomatoes that I think I like a little better. I do like how large this variety gets and the rich flavor and velvety texture is always something I look forward to.

Striped German – This is always one of my favorites each year, mainly because of how they look. They are big and have a really cool yellow and red interior. They have a nice smooth fruity flavor

Great WhiteGreat White – I like having a verity of colors, but I’ve never found a great white tomato that tastes good and had good fruit quality. I chose the white tomato that tastes good at least. It has a creamy texture and is fairly low acidic.

PineapplePineapple – I did some research this winter on what people were saying online as to their favorite heirloom tomato. This one was one of the most popular I found so I gave it a try. I have not been able to give it a good tasting yet though. It looks fairly similar to the striped german with a little less red mottling on the inside. Here is what the seed catalog said about it, “Cut in half, it looks like the interior of a pineapple except with yellow and red marbling. It doesn’t taste like a pineapple, though, nor like a typical red tomato, either. Its unique mild low-acid fruity sweetness needs a fruit name all its own.”

Cherokee PurpleCherokee Purple – Another classic heirloom tomato. I have always liked this tomato and is often ranked high in tastings. It has a rich sweat flavor that is also fairly low acid.

I was looking for some hybrid tomatoes that actually had good complex flavors similar to the heirlooms yet still had the hardiness and fruit quality of the hybrid. These next three are new to me and fall into that category.

Brandy Boy HybridBrandy Boy – Supposed to be a hybrid brandywine knockoff. The fruit quality is definitely better, but I am not convinced the flavor is that similar.

MarbonneMarbonne – These were bred to be flavorful and disease resistant. I have not yet tried these, but the plants do look healthy so far. They are nicely ribbed so if you are curious and want to try them I’ll easily be able to show them to you.

Martha WashingtonMartha Washington – I am quite impressed with how these plants and fruit look. The flavor is sub-optimal compared to an heirloom. They taste like a classic red tomato, which can be good if that is what you want. They are a nice pink color and the fruit look better than most hybrids I get out of the field.

Well That is all of them. Let me know if you have any favorites from this list or if there are any others you think I should try.

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