Goose Creek: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Goose Creek TomatoThis tomato was the most expensive one I bought this year, but I just had to have it. Put the word ‘rare’ in the description of any plant and my wallet is in my hand and I am handing out my credit card info.

On top of that, this is a tomato with history and adventure. Who wouldn’t want a tomato that has been smuggled by slaves and handed down from parent to child for generations?

The description from the company I bought it from reads:

This delectable historical family heirloom is one of the rarest plants we offer. The flavor and color run deep in Goose Creek , a stunning red fruit, usually round, sometimes lobed, with occasional gold streaks. Juicy, very sweet and intensely tomatoey as if injected with concentrated tomato flavor, it is ambrosial. I’ve rarely tasted a tomato to compare. Averaging 6-7 ounces, with very few seeds; it has now made my top 3 list. We are growing Goose Creek now in a 20 gallon container in late December and still getting fruit.

This family treasure comes to us from edible landscape expert, Jimmy Williams, owner of Hayground Organic Gardening in California whose home garden we found to be an enchanting escape. Jimmy, born in 1942, and his Native Island Gullah-Geechee family are descendants of slaves brought in bondage to the coastal islands of the Southern United States to grow rice for plantation owners.

The Beauty Pageant:

Size: This tomato is slightly smaller than a tennis ball.

Shape: I have to say, that this tomato is our beauty queen, as far as shape goes. Nearly perfectly round with no blemishes. Stereo-grocery-typical look of an ideal tomato.

The inside: Thin outer walls on the chambers but a massive solid core on the inside makes this a meaty tomato. Some seeds but not as many as you would expect in a tomato of this size. The gelatin is loose, so this is a juicy tomato.

Texture: Dare I say silken? No joke. Smooth and almost creamy but still firm. This tomato’s texture is delightful on the tongue.


Off the Vine Tasting: This is a perfectly balanced tasting tomato. Odd but cool thing with it though, the meat is sweet, like a slightly under ripe melon, but the gelatin is tart and tangy. The two mix together in your mouth and as you chew the flavors change as they mix together. Nice aftertaste as well.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt makes this an intensely sweeter tomato. The melon flavor is cranked up and it tastes alot like a honeydew. The tanginess from the gelatin is still there giving this tomato a very nice complex flavor.

Cooking Thoughts: You could cook this I am sure, but why would you want to waste a tomato like this on something like sauce? This is a tomato you slice and serve to guests just as it is. The texture and flavor are enough to make this a delight. It would be fun to make a salsa or bruschetta with this one as well. I think you would need to leave the seeds in it though. Without that gelatin, it will lose some of its complexity.

Growing Notes:
Rather tall plant but not bushy. I am glad that this one is in one of my concrete mesh cages. The plant is too lanky to support its tomatoes without thorough support all the way up. It is healthy though and so far it has had a medium yield of fruit.

Will Hanna grow this one again:
YES! Suburb tomato. Worth the money I paid for it. This is truly an excellent tomato.

3 thoughts on “Goose Creek: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006
  1. Michael on

    I stumbled upon this blog when looking for tomato reviews. I had read it before, but forgotten it. I find it to be a valuable resource, because there are just so darned many types of tomatoes. I was especially interested in your review of this tomato- I am from South Carolina and there is a town near the Charleston on the coast called Goose Creek. I was very intrigued to note that the source of this plant was from a descendant of a Gullah family. The Gullah people are descendants of slaves living along the SC coast with their own distinct language and culture. I want to seek out this tomato now. Thanks so much.


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  3. Peter on

    I read about this tomato here, got curious and ordered some seeds from E-bay (yes!!!). I grew 24 different tomatoes last year (one plant each) and Goose Creek was my absolute favourite. Healthy, superb taste(!!!), good lookin’ and kept on producing until frost killed it in mid October. This year I will grow lots of plants with Goose Creek.

    Have nice new growing season 2011!
    //Peter (Stockholm, Sweden)

    PS. I would also recommend Gelbe Dattelwein, a yellow small cherry tomato with very fresh taste and huge clusters of fruits. Let only one vine produce fruits and you will get hundreds of tasty little fruits. Everybody’s favourite cherry tomato here.


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  5. renee DV on

    Hi Hannah,
    Would like to mention Jimmy came out with a Black Goose Creek for planting this year which I believe is a cross between his original Goose Creek and a Cherokee Purple(by the way, he also has a book out now that is awesome- “From seed to skillet”)Hope you can add this tomato on your list for this year- it is in my plot now!


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