Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006
This is a tomato that hails from Russia, which means this is a good cold weather tomato.
The coloring of this tomato (like many blacks) varies from area to area, depending on the conditions so some people will get a dark colored tomato, while other will get a dark red tomato that has only dark purple splotches.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
This marvelous plant offers a very heavy production of rich, sweet, fruity, elongated, mahogany plum-shaped 3″ fruits that fall into your hands by the dozens as you pick them. This one is outstanding eaten fresh, or sliced in a salad, with a rich smoky sweetness and a touch of zippy tartness to its creamy flesh, it makes a fabulous and perfectly balanced sauce or paste and is becoming a great favorite for canning.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: When I think of plums, I tend to think the Italian plum my mother traditionally grew in her garden. In light of this, as far as this being a “plum” tomato, I find this one to be on the small side. It is really not much bigger than a large cherry tomato.
Shape: Very nice plum shape. They are pretty consistently shaped.
The inside: For their small size, they have a lot of meat. The outside wall are thick. The seeds are pretty plentiful, but are tightly compacted, so there is some, but not much gelatin.
Texture: It is a little on the mealy side.
Off the Vine Tasting: I like the taste of these off the vine. They are on the tart side, which is something I like. This tomato is also a little on the earthy side as far as the flavor. I have been munching on these as I work in the garden, rather than the cherry tomatoes. The mealiness gets in the way of the taste some, though. The texture distracts you some while eating them
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt makes this tomato little sweeter, but not much. Taste stays pretty consistent. With the salt, I can taste a little of the “fruity” that the description talks about, but not enough to say that it has a fruity taste.
Cooking Thoughts: I think that these would work best in the traditional way plum tomatoes get used, which is as a paste or sauce tomato. I think that the mealiness would detract from using them for a salsa or in any uncooked tomato recipe.
This is is extremely prolific producer. It is rivaling my cherry tomatoes in how much it produces. The plant itself is very healthy as well. It is now around 6 1/2′ tall and very full. I am thinking that as this is a Russian strain, it should keep producing into the fall.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Maybe. I enjoy tarter tomatoes, and this tomato does have this flavor. But, I am a bit put off by the smaller size. It is going to be a pain in the ass to peel enough of these for cooking.