Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2007
I have come to think of this as the pool boy of my tomato garden. The only reason it is there is because it improves the visible landscape. Handsome and exotic looking, even it’s name, Custoluto Genovese, brings to mind tall, well formed, shirtless men with burning and only slightly vapid eyes. And much like a pool boy, chances are it serves very little purpose elsewhere and the husband doesn’t like it. *sigh* At least it looks nice.
I saw this for the first time on You Grow Girl when Gayla posted a picture of a group of tomatoes and there was a few Costoluto Genovese in the group. I had to have it but I am now a bit worried about my rash, lust driven decision. Joey Ballgaggio left a comment declaring that these had literally made him vomit. Hmm… I just want to point out what risks I take in bringing you guys these Tomato Tastings.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
Italian heirloom tomatoes. Large, deep-red, juicy tomatoes are deeply ribbed but fully flavored and absolutely delicious. This variety is hearty and does well in hot weather, but continues to produce even when the weather turns cool. Indeterminate, 78 days.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: Smallish. It is smaller than the palm area of my hand but not by too much.
Shape: Broad shoulders, chiseled lobes… um… pool boy… Anyway, flattish as well. The tomato has two distinct sides and is cinched where the two sides meet in the middle.
The inside: As mentioned, there seems to be two sides. It is almost like a Siamese twin. Each side has a chamber with each chamber having its own core. The gel is loose and the seeds are small.
Texture: It is a soft mealy. It not so much grainy like most mealy tomato but still a bumpy feeling.
Off the Vine Tasting: Okay, barf bag is still empty. This is a strongly flavored tomato. Like smack you in the face tomato flavor. There is nothing sweet about it. Not terrible off the vine but not really good either.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: From a raw stand point, salt does not do this tomato any favors. The already overly strong flavor is just cranked up even more.
Cooking Thoughts: You can’t slice this well and the strong flavor is a bit too much already. Your best bet is to sauce these. The nice thing is that these puppies will stretch a whole lot further than normal tomatoes. These can take watering down and will stand up well to whatever flavoring you like in your tomato.
This plant is a pretty good size. Not too bushy though. The problem I have with it is that the fruit are just not ripening. Despite the fact that these tomatoes were among the first tomatoes to bear fruit, I have only harvested two to his date. The plant is full of very green tomatoes. I am guessing that because this is a hot weather tomato and this has been a somewhat cool summer, the tomatoes just are not liking this climate.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
No. The nice thing about pool boys is that they are a dime a dozen. Great for a summer fling but when you are looking for long term tomato love, you need to find something with a little more substance.