Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006
Do not adjust the color on your computer screen. Don’t go rubbing your eyes. It is not a sport, nor a mutation (at least anymore). That really is a white tomato pictured to the left.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
The whitest of the white tomatoes, White Beauty also has one of the finest flavors among the whites, which can sometimes be rather bland. White Beauty and Great White are exceptions . This rare heirloom, which can reach 16 ounces but is normally in the 10 ounce range, was introduced in the mid 1800’s but was somehow lost more than 40 years ago. Since the recent rediscovery of the seeds, it has become especially popular for its enormous yield and lovely, creamy, almost seedless fruits. Fruity well-balanced flavor, and a favorite for an elegant creamy white tomato sauce; White Beauty, which was called ‘Snowball’ 150 years ago, continues to bear heavily throughout the season and stands up to cooler weather. When ripe, it takes on a creamy yellow hue.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: This is a hefty tomato. I put a quarter (which is slightly smaller than a pound coin or a Euro, if memory serves me correctly) on the tomato so you could get an idea of the size. It is not gigantic, but it can certainly hold its own in a tomato wrestling match.
Shape: This is not a tomato you will find on a grocery shelf. It is pretty lobey and does not make for a neat slicing tomato. You can’t really see it in the pic, but this tomato, if you were looking straight on at its stem spot, this particular tomato was hourglass shaped. That seems pretty typical of the ones that have been picked and that are growing on the vine.
The inside: The description says “almost seedless”. I would have to argue with that. There were seeds. Not tons, but seeds were there more than they were not. The thing about the seeds is that they are very small for tomato seeds, say about half to even a third of the size of a seed you would find in a store bought tomato.
There was also very little gelatin inside the tomato. The chamber walls were pretty think, so there was quite a bit of “meat” to the tomato rather than guts.
Texture: This tomato had a really nice texture. It was firm and not at all mushy, mealy or grainy.
Off the Vine Tasting: When I picked this straight off the vine and tried it, my first thought, honest to goodness, was it had no taste. Not like “it had no taste like a store bought tomato tastes like cardboard”, but in literally, I could not taste anything. It was like biting into water.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Once I sliced this one and added some salt, I could taste what this tomato had to offer. It is a very subtle flavor. It is a nice flavor, low acid, sweet and a little fruity, but you really have to work to taste that.
Cooking Thoughts: This is not a tomato that I would want to make a sauce, salsa or bruschetta with. It is great for slicing and presenting on a plate with other varieties of tomato for the “Wow, how cool looking is that tomato?” But I would say that any flavoring other than salt has a good chance of overwhelming the subtle and delicate flavor of this tomato.
Seems to be doing pretty good. It was one of the first larger size tomatoes in my garden to produce ripe fruit. It was fun to watch it go from green to yellow-white rather than a red.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Probably not. It was fun to grow this year for the fact that I had never seen a white tomato, but I prefer tomatoes with a good, strong off the vine flavor and this one failed that test pretty miserably. Great to try once but will not make it to my year after year tomato list.