Big Rainbow: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Big Rainbow TomatoI decided to try this one because it just looked so damn funky. It is just a tomato that doesn’t want to make up its mind on what color it is going to be. If there was such thing as a tomato shrink, this tomato would probably be the number one patient.

The skin is a mottled mix of orange, yellow and red as is the inside and the bottom looks like it was on the slave end of a dominatrix’s paddle, with this bright red spot glowing around where the blossom once grew.

The description from the company I bought it from reads:

Big it is…2 lbs. or more, sweet and voluptuous, fruity, juicy, rich tri-colored tomato, dappled red, orange and yellow, inside and out. Just enchanting. Big Rainbow is a best seller, and among my all-time favorites. Heavy, juicy and gorgeous, it takes me 2 hands to pick.

The Beauty Pageant:
Big Rainbow Tomato Sliced

Size: This is a beefsteak and when I think beefsteak, first I think hot guy in tight pants (oh wait, that’s beefCAKE, nevermind) and then I think of a massive tomato fit for slicing and eating on a sandwich. This is without a doubt a beefsteak tomato.

Shape: A body only a gardener could love. Lumpy spots, uneven surface and shape.

The inside: There are not alot of seeds inside for the size of this tomato. The gelatin is rather loose, so where there is seeds, the tomato is juicy but when you slice this (if you slice from side to side), you will run across slices that have no seeds and those slices are not juicy at all.

The outer walls of the seed chambers are rather thin but the tomato makes up for that by having a nice thick core. Overall a pretty meaty tomato.

Texture: Very smooth and firm.

Tasting:

Off the Vine Tasting: To be honest, my first bite was not impressive. I thought that this tomato just had no taste but… as I kept eating a flavor developed. This seems to be a tomato that has a “wait for it” flavor, like the way a hot pepper’s heat builds as you eat it.

The flavor is sweet, like someone combined weak peach juice with weak tomato juice. The aftertaste is alot like the aftertaste of peaches. This tomato has no tanginess at all.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt just turns the sweetness right on up to the point where it is on par with a sweet peach. The salt also helps to develop a good tomato flavor backbone too. Still no tanginess, though.

Cooking Thoughts: I am thinking that this would make an excellent salsa tomato. The sweetness of the tomato would certainly play a nice counter to the heat of the jalapenos. This would make a pretty good sandwich and would be great for a showcase, served on its own type side dish.

Growing Notes:
I wish I had been able to put this one in a bigger cage. Fortunately it is now resting on the fence next to it, so it is doing okay. This is a tall plant, if you let it grow upwards, and it has heavy fruit. Not a good combination if there is not proper support.

I also wanted to comment that due to the funky colors, I had a hard time deciding when this tomato was ripe. I almost did not pick it tonight simply because I was not sure what ripe should look like. This is one you just have to squeeze to help you decide if you think it is ripe.

Will Hanna grow this one again:
Maybe. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a superb tomato. Great texture, complex flavor, excellent size. The problem is more with me on this one. I just like a tangy tomato better than a sweet tomato. If you are looking for an interesting sweet tomato to grow, I would recommend this one. It’s just not for me is all.

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