Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008
So I bought this tomato because I thought, “Gee, how cool, a Japanese tomato.â€ Stupid me. Despite all evidence to the contrary (mainly the NAME), this tomato is actually a Russian tomato.
No one is quite sure why they named this a Japanese tomato, though some suspect that it was an attempt to bring a certain amount of sophistication to the table. I guess Yu-Gi-Oh has a whole different meaning in the Eastern Block than it does here.
The description from the company I got it from reads:
Attractive tomatoes are the shape and size of a Bartlett pear with a beautiful purplish-brick color; the fruit are perfect and smooth with no cracks. The flavor is absolutely sublime, having all the richness of fine chocolate. This was our heaviest producer for 2004. The plants produced loads of fruit all summer long. It has become a favorite with many seed savers and we are glad to be able to offer such a colorful variety.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: The largest so far is the large one in the picture and is a little bigger than the palm of my hand. They seem to grow like nesting dolls with the one near the branch being the largest with the ones at the end of the stem being about the size of cherry tomatoes.
Shape: Pear shaped and shapely. Smooth with no outside issues.
The inside: Tight, central core with two cambers. Rather thick walls for a tomato this size. Gel is tight .
Texture: Very soft and silky. Smooth. The skin is a little thick, which is a bit distracting.
Off the Vine Tasting: It has that rich flavor that I love about black tomatoes. It is almost smoky and is reminiscent of a beef flavor with the tomato flavor. The skin provides just a little bit of sourness.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt does not really do this tomato any favors. That smoky flavor is still there, but it is downplayed and there is no other flavor that steps up to the plate to replace it.
Cooking Thoughts: I personally think this would make a great sauce, but it would be equally good served as a side dish, in a salad or on a sandwich. I don’t think you would want to use it for salsa as it has a flavor that is a bit different than someone might be use to from a typical tomato.
This is a nice productive plant. Healthy and going strong.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Yes. I love these kinds of tomatoes. Black tomatoes are the panacea of tomato flavor for me and this black tomato has that flavor nailed.