Black Ethiopian: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006

Black Ethiopian TomatoI am a big fan of black/purple tomatoes so I thought I would give this one a try. I am surprised at how dark they came out, normally black and purple tomatoes come out red with dark splotches. This one grew with a nice mahogany color all over it.

The description from the company I bought it from reads:

This spectacular tomato has an exquisite flavor – just knocks me out. Be prepared for extremely heavy production of deep reddish brown-bronze 5 oz. luscious plum shaped tomatoes, sweet, rich and tangy – just ambrosial. Black Ethiopian’s exceptional production and splendid flavor have made it highly prized in the tomato world.

The Beauty Pageant:
Black Ethiopian Tomato Sliced

Size: As the description says, this tomato is just slightly larger than a plum fruit.

Shape: Very nice round shape with no blemishes. Definitely a tomato beauty queen.

The inside: This is a single chamber tomato. The outside wall is of medium thickness.

The gelatin is pretty loose, which is the only thing that keeps it from being a “stuffer” type tomato. The seeds are pretty much in a single ball around a tight core. The seed ball slips out easily when slicing these, so you tend to end up with a tomato ring, rather than a proper slice.

Texture: The meat is a little mealy and a little spongy but not terribly so. You probably wouldn’t even notice unless you were really paying attention.


Off the Vine Tasting: This is not a smack you in the face tasting tomato. It has a nice taste to it, but the taste is just not very strong. The flavor is like an echo of a tangy tomato with a nice smoky aftertaste to it. The gelatin holds more flavor than the meat.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt makes this tomato sweeter and makes the smoky flavor much more evident in the actual bite rather than in the aftertaste.

Cooking Thoughts: This tomato would make a good stuffing tomato as the core slips out easily and leaves a nice tomato cup. Unfortunately, you lose some good flavor when you take the seeds out. This tomato might make for interesting presentation on a salad as tomato rings. I personally would be happy to use this for sauces with the seeds intact, but for people who don’t like seeds, I am not sure the meat by itself has strong enough flavor to carry itself in a sauce.

Growing Notes:
Healthy, mid-sized plant. It is pretty bushy, but not so massive that it is not manageable. I have not had any problems with it.

Will Hanna grow this one again:
Well… not next year but maybe I would grow it again in a few years. This is a good tomato, but I would not call it a great tomato. The smoky flavor is nice, but not enough to make me want to give this tomato a home in my garden year after year.

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