Chocolate Stripes Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008

Chocolate Stripes Tomato Mmmmm… Chocolate. The mere mention of chocolate is enough to turn most women into La Femme Homer Simpson. So, when I found a tomato named Chocolate Stripes, how could I resist?

And my, my, my, my, my did it come off the vine looking like a million bucks. Sure, Some have looked like a super model who had gone 3 rounds with La Hoya, bent and pushed out of shape, but you could tell that there was some real beauty in there. The color is truly beautiful. If it tastes half as good as it looks, it will be a winner.

The description from the company I got it from reads:

This is another boat shaped, u-shaped tomato. Its shape is similar to Purple Calabash. Plants yield a plentiful crop of 3-4 inch, mahogany colored fruit with dark, olive green-striping. Seed company says that these fruits have a “delicious, complex, rich, sweet, earthy tomato flavor” with makes this tomato a “black” by looks and taste. Indeterminate, 79 days.

The Beauty Pageant:
Chocolate Stripes Tomato Sliced
Size: They range from just under a pound to close to 2 pounds..

Shape: When they grow normally, they have a nice round shape, but it seems as though this plant is prone to fasciation so many of the tomatoes come out in a mangled U shape. Tend to look like it was a punching bag when it does that.

Color: As mentioned, fantastic color. Dark red, almost brown color with striking green-gold stripes.

The inside: Like many too pretty things, this just fell apart under slicing. The gel is plentiful and very wet and can hardly keep itself together. The core is thick but the walls were thin, so when this was sliced, many times the walls fell apart without the support of the tomato shape.

Texture: Very soft but smooth texture.

Tasting:

Off the Vine Tasting: Damn it, I should have known it. Much like the stereotypical buxom beach blonde, you can look at it all day long but the minute someone opens their mouth, there is not much there. Watery, weak flavor. There are some hints of sweetness and tomato flavor, but it washes away quickly.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt cranks up the sweet quite a bit. There is still just a hint of tomato flavor in it.

Cooking Thoughts: This tomato is so sloppy, that the only thing I can think to do with it is to sauce it or juice it. It is too watery for anything else.

Growing Notes:
Leggy plant but it has not produced a lot of tomatoes so far.

Will Hanna grow this one again:
No. I need more than a pretty face. Lovely to look at but disappoints on the tounge.

7 thoughts on “Chocolate Stripes Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008
  1. Hanna, your tomato tastings are inspirational. You have me eying off every hint or patch of sunshine in my tragically shady yard, wondering if I could fit an extra tomato there.

    What I’d really really love to see is some sort of a “tomato tasting retrospective”, where you told us which of the “would grow again” tomatoes from previous years you actually have grown again, which tomatoes are now among your personal ‘will grow every year’ standards, and how previous-years top-tasting tomatoes taste and perform in subsequent years.

    Not to be demanding or anything. What you do already is amazing, and is probably doing wonders for the resurgence of heirloom varieties in home gardens (I know I’m much more likely to track down seeds for tomatoes you’ve recommended, and I imagine so are plenty of other people). Just letting you know there’d definitely be interest if you were up for it!

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  2. Hanna, I’m going to have to rethink the whole process of purchasing tomato seeds (of which I am sure that a lot of people are addicted to). I tend to want them all of course, the catalog images are so enticing! But first, maybe I should wait until you’ve rated them!

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  3. Jordi on

    Hanna, I write from Spain, where the growing conditions are quite different. Your reviews are great and I browse your blog almost everyday. But, looking at the picture of Chocolate Stripes I have the feeling that this particular specimen is TOO ripe. In general, compared with what we use to do in the mediterranean, you collect your tomatoes really late. Usually, the tomatoes we eat in salads or as a side dish (for other usages it’s quite different) are not really ripe and have some green in them. That adds some consistency and more flavor. More tanginess, also. Did you try to pick them a little sooner? Well, that said, I really look forward for your unvaluable information. Keep going. Even if we don’t have deers down here, every bit of informations information coming from you is a treasure trove. Regards.

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  4. Thank you. I know I would have tried to grow that one if I saw it. Now I will know better. I still stand by “Creole” tomatoes as the best tomato in the world. It taste just like you want a tomato to taste, it slices nice for sanwiches and is juicy but not too juicy. A perfect tomato. One drawback. It does for some reason, attrack stink bugs but I just bring it in when it turns a deep yellow and let it ripen inside on my window sill.
    YOu have a fantastic blog. So informative.

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  5. Yummy! I didn’t grow any chocolate tomatoes this year, but now I wish I had. I have a wonderful spaghetti sauce recipe I use these tomatoes for.

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  6. Hanna on

    glittertrash – That sounds like a really good idea. I can’t promise anything, but I will try to do a post like that.

    rowena – The best thing to do is run your own test. Sometimes tomatoes grow and taste different depending on where they are grown. A so-so tomato for me may rock where you live. Take a chance and you may be surprised. :)

    Jordi – I will have to try a greener one. I would be willing to bet though that these simply are tomatoes that are happier in warmer and dryer climates. It would help concentrate the flavors. We have had a mild and very wet summer and this tomato probably just did not like it.

    eve – Thanks! I will have to keep an eye out for Creole tomato seeds. Sounds like a great tomato to try.

    Mrs. Greenhands – Nothing is as delicious as homemade sauce grown from homemade tomatoes!

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  7. I’ve grown dozens and dozens of varieties of heirlooms over the last six seasons, and what I’ve found so far (from casual observation) is that I can’t really write off a variety after one season, because results can vary dramatically from year to year (especially with our crazy, wildly fluctuating weather these recent years). It’s easy to dismiss a variety after a really disappointing debut, but I’ve had favorite toms for 2-3 years running suddenly perform miserably by any measure: taste, texture, yield (hybrids tend to be more uniform). I’ll generally try anything I found interesting enough to get seed for, for 2-3 seasons, even it’s only a couple of plants.

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