Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2007
Say what you will about the French , they do one thing really well and that is food. So when I saw that this was a French Beefsteak… well… how could I go wrong?
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
A French beefsteak heirloom that produces heavy quantities of huge (1-2 lb.), red, blemish-free fruits that have intense, balanced flavors. Fruits are typically 4 inches across. A favorite at taste tests. Indeterminate, 85 days.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: Ginormous (I can use that. They just made it a real word). It is all that a beefsteak tomato should be. Probably at least a pound, if not more.
Shape: Gosh, this tomato is a beauty, in the classical sense. While it would not win a Florida tomato beauty contest, this is the way that many of us remember a good tomato looking (back in the good old days) when it comes from the garden. This thing is deformed and holey but isn’t that what a pretty beefsteak is suppose to look like.
The inside: Lots and lots of meat. Little seed for a tomato this size. The gelatin is pretty loose so this tomato is pretty juicy.
Texture: Smooth as silk. Not at all mealy. Perfect consistency. Not too tough, not too squishy.
Off the Vine Tasting: I am going to say that this is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tomato. It does have a great flavor. Very tangy with a mildly sweet follow up. But… Only if you take a bite that has some of the gel in it. The meat of this tomato has virtually no flavor. And unfortunately, this tomato is mostly meat.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt sweetens the gel flavor up but doesn’t tone down the tanginess too much. It makes for a fun combination in the mouth. The salt does not improve the flavor of the meat much though.
Cooking Thoughts: Unfortunately, because the meat is so bland, this would not make a good saucing tomato. It’s unfortunate because it would be relatively easy to de-seed. Of course, I don’t de-seed when I sauce tomatoes (too much work) but I know you are suppose to. This would make a good sandwich tomato. The flavor in the gel is pretty intense, so as long as you got at least a little bit of gel in the bite, the flavor should be there with the meat adding a nice creamy filler.
Good size plant. It has not had any problems yet this year. There are about a half dozen additional fruit still green on the plant, though they are not as large as this one. They may still be growing though.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Maybe. I am leaning towards ‘probably not’ but the flavor of the gel in this tomato is damn good. I wish that it just went through to the whole tomato.