Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2007
I bought the DonaÂ tomato plant because I had heard so much about it in the tomato underground.Â Supposedly, seeds for this plant are a bit hard to get a hold of.Â Not so much because they are not sold anywhere, but it is because the places that sell them tend to sell out quickly.Â And they sell out quickly, not because this is an overly popular tomato, but because seed dealers tend to keep only little on hand.Â This probably means this is a hit or miss tomato in that some years, everybody wnats it and other years, nobody wants it.Â Hmmm…Â I don’t know ifÂ that bodes well or not.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
Open pollinated version of the wonderful French gourmet hybrid tomato â€œDonaâ€. Heavy crop of beautiful, smooth 4-6 oz. globes. Perfectly balanced flavor. Good disease resistance. Indeterminate, 70 days.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: Cute.Â Nice medium small tomato.Â
Shape: Almost baseball round.Â Looks alot like the average tomato in a grocery store (let’s hope it doesn’t taste like it).
The inside: Red, but not brilliant red. Good, thick walls and the gelatin is pretty stiff but wet.Â
Texture: Somewhat mealy.Â The gel feels odd since it is stiff but wet.Â Kind of feels like frog eggs in your mouth.Â Not that I have ever had frog eggs in my mouth, but.. oh nevermind…
Off the Vine Tasting: Not something I am going to write home about.Â The meat is sweet, but in the sense of an out of season melon (same texture too).Â The gel is tomato tangy but not kick you in the mouth so.Â
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt improves the flavor.Â It teases out some more of the melon sweetness from the meat and makes the flavor nicely balanced between sweet and tangy.
Cooking Thoughts: I would probably use this for a sauce tomato.Â Because the gel is firm, it will deseed easily, but I think you would be better off, flavor wise, not to deseed this tomato as you loseÂ the tangy flavor of the gel, which gives this a tomato flavor rather than a melon flavor.
This was a rather small plant.Â Reading other reviews of it, I had heard that this was a heavy producer and technically, it did have alot of blossoms.Â It looks like not too many of those blossoms got pollinated though.Â There are empty bracts all over the plant where a tomato should be but there is none. I don’t know if this is a problem with the blossoms in that they just don’t pollinate well, or if it is a problem with a lack of pollinators.Â I have been seeing bees in my garden pretty regularly, but perhaps they were just not regular enough.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
No.Â While it is not a bad tomato it is not a ‘good’ tomato.Â There is nothing special about it.Â It is really just a girl next door tomato.Â Why bother when there are so many others to choose from?