Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008
This is yet another pretty tomato. To be honest, I am really starting to mistrust pretty tomatoes. If it looks good enough to be used in a Food Channel commercial, my historical experience indicates that it will not work in my food kitchen.
But one cannot come to judge a tomato by its looks, be them good, bad or pretty.
The description from the company I got it from reads:
A beautiful, drought tolerant variety producing small to medium (21/2 to 3 inch), flat, deeply ruffled, chocolate-brown to deep purple fruit. (Mine were u-shaped, boat shaped and large, but very, very tasty) Intensely rich, almost wine-like flavor. Crack resistant and stores well. Indeterminate. 85 days.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: Smallish medium. The one pictured was on the large side for this tomato.
Shape: Ruffled like a debutant dress.
Color: Brick red.
The inside: Slightly loose gel, but overall it holds up well to slicing. The seeds are rather large for the size of the tomato and I am willing to bet that is by design. This tomato was made to be turned into sauces and condiments, so large seeds would make it easier to mesh them out. Thick core with thin walls.
Texture: The ruffles are chambers, each with a thick wall and a small open area with the gel and seeds. The core is thick.
Off the Vine Tasting: This is a strong flavored tomato. Very sour with a strong tomato backbone. The sour is reminiscent of lemons.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: The salt really reduces the sour flavor and leaves it tasting pretty bland.
Cooking Thoughts: I think this would work best for a salad or a bruchetta. The sour flavor lends itself to a gourmet kind of dish, where the odd flavor will not be a surprise.
Tall plant, but it produces sporadically.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Probably not. Not a bad tomato, but not one that I could find many uses for in my home. The smallish, multi-chambered nature does not make it good for too many things and the strong flavor makes it even less usable.