Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009

This year has been terrible for tomatoes. Thanks to all this rain, the vines are strong and tall, but much like harem guards and eternally soprano choir boys, the reproductive point (or perhaps that should be round) of the species is sorely lacking.

Oh, certainly there are blossoms and a few hard, green fruit, but much like in the human world, tomatoes need a little heat to create ready offspring (unless of course you bring in a little science, but making babies with science is just about as fun as eating tomatoes ripened by science.)

But Hanna will persevere. There will be tomato tastings this year. After all, this is Cleveland and we have a few saying around here regarding the weather. Most of them cannot be repeated in front of children and church going women, but in a nut shell, they all boil down to “If you don’t like the weather in Cleveland, just wait five minutes. It will change.” August is coming and I have never been through a Cleveland summer where August was not as hot and miserable as Jennifer Aniston’s love life.

So here we have it. The final list for Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009:

  • White Tomesol
  • Early Giant (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Red Velvet (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Blue (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Kellogg’s Breakfast (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Omar’s Lebanese (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Speckled Roman
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Celebrity (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Winsall (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Red Siberian (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Kimberly (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Russian 117 (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Dad’s Sunset (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Black (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Mexico (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Chocolate Amazon (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Tim’s Black Ruffles (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Yellow Perfection
  • Green Zebra (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Black Krim (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Ernie’s Plimp (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Green Giant (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Black From Tula
  • Black Prince (Destroyed by animals*)
  • Silvery Fir

Many, many tomatoes and I am looking forward to trying them all.

And, while we all twiddle our thumbs waiting for summer to take its recommended dosage of weather Viagra and get things moving, feel free to read the reviews found in previous years’ tastings:

Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2006
Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2007
Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2008

*yep,it was that kind of suck year in my garden. 🙁

4 thoughts on “Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009
  1. I love, love, love your tomato tastings! Thanks so much for doing this. I’m still not quite the connoisseur you are, but it’s very helpful for those of us with small gardens in choosing the right tomato.


  2. Wow, Hanna.

    You really have put together a masterpiece of tomato tastings and information. I admire your writing and the work that you put into this wealth of goodies!

    You made me so hungry for tomatoes that I had to run to my fridge to grab one! Yum yum! There’s no thing like a fresh from the farm tomato for snacking munchies.


  3. Dear Hanna,

    I love your site. I especially enjoyed the piece about the spaghetti squash. It is sometimes remarkable to think about some of the biological qualities of the food we eat. I’m an amateur mycologist in my spare time and like to think about the various unseen ways fungi affect our world…

    I wanted to tell you about my new book RIPE: The Search for the Perfect Tomato (Counterpoint Press). While I would never pretend to be a gardening expert or even a good gardener, the book will certainly be of interest to you and your readers. I use a mixture of journalism and scholarship to explore the fascinating history of the tomato and the ways it has been transformed through technology, commerce and human taste. In the course of the book I picked tomatoes with illegal immigrants in Florida, attended the fabulous Tomatofest heirloom festival in Carmel, Ca., visited dry-farmed piennolo and San Marzano plots around Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, and hung out with some of the world’s leading tomato processors on a trip to Western China, which is now the world’s second-largest tomato growing area. I also profile the inimitable tomato geneticist Charley Rick, whom some describe as the “Architect of the Tomato” because of the wealth of genetic material he retrieved from wild tomatoes and tomato relatives on numerous trips to South America. Notable is the episode in which Rick spent months parsing the turds of giant Galapagos tortoises to find germinating Lycopersicon seeds from a variety that he eventually used to introduce a key trait into the processing tomato…

    All best,
    Arthur Allen
    (native of Cincinnati)


  4. George on

    I love your Tomato Tastings. The descriptions make me laugh. “Salt gives this tomato a little more personality (kind of like a shot of tequila does for that blind date) but you can only work with what you have,” is an absolute favorite.

    I also wish I had found this blog before I started my tomato garden this year.

    I am curious what happened to some of the other Tomatoes on the 2009 list. Did the Black Prince and Black Krim fail to produce, or were they just not interesting enough to warrant a kiss and tell?


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