Speckled Roman Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009

speckled roman tomatoThis would be my freaky-deaky tomato of the season. It is a tomato that really, really wants people to think it is part of the very in hot pepper crowd. If you were not looking closely, you might mistake it for one. But even confused tomatoes can’t change who and what they are.

The description from the company I got it from reads:

The oblong red fruits are 3″ wide and 5″ long with orange and yellow stripes/speckles and decorative enough to keep in a basket on your kitchen counter until you are ready to cook with them. But, you will appreciate the hefty, meaty fruit with few seeds the most for the excellent flavor it has in sauce. You can also use these tomatoes fresh and sliced for sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres.

The Beauty Pageant:

speckled roman tomato slicedSize: Anywhere from as long as my hand to as long as my finger. Somewhere as thick as two fingers and three fingers.

Shape: Long and pointy. Think a butch witch’s finger.

Color: Bright red with orange striation. The inside is a solid red.

The inside: Very few seeds with thin walls, but a thick core. Almost no gel.

Texture: This is a very mealy tomato, but fortunately, it has all the characteristics of a good sauce tomato.


Off the Vine Tasting: The flavor is straight tomato, and neither a strong nor a weak tomato flavor. Not all that memorable.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt makes this tomato tangier. Gives it a little personality, like a shot of tequila gives a suburban housewife a bit more personality.

Cooking Thoughts: I don’t think that the feel of this tomato lends itself to appetizers, as the description suggests and has not enough unique flavor to eat on its own. But, it is a grade A sauce tomato.

Growing Notes:
Fairly healthy, but not robust. To tell the truth, from the time this tomato plant was a seedling, it always looked unhealthy. The leaves on this plant are naturally droopy. Every one of them I gave away elicited questions on their health because of the droopiness. It is hard to say if the adult plant is unhealthy or if it simply is just a perpetually sickly looking plant.

Will Hanna grow this one again:
No. Interesting tomato, but not enough production to make it a good choice for a saucing tomato.

8 thoughts on “Speckled Roman Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2009
  1. I grew this tomato last year. I’m one of those read the book by the cover people, I thought it looked good. Taste wise it was the worst tomato I have ever grown. I wish I had thought to making sauce with it now that you mentioned it.


  2. Gina on

    I grew Blue Beech paste tomatoes this year and they look just like you described for this one! They remind me of the size and shape of banana peppers but bright red. My plant also has been rather droopy, but not unhealthy looking and it has produced a LOT of tomatoes. I was very impressed with the Blue Beech both for its tomatoes and for it’s production.


  3. These speckled tomatoes looks really special. You have presented the information in a wonderful way on your blog


  4. Those tomatoes look tasty. Thanks for the information, I think next year I might add that to my list when I start my seed selections for Romas for the garden!


  5. Thanks, Hanna for posting your taste tests. I’m already thinking about next year’s tomato selections. I have a small garden, so it’s nice to avoid “duds” by reading your posts. I’m particularly looking for the best paste tomato, since we love homemade sauce.


  6. I know it’s a year late (just found the site) but I wanted to thank you for this info. We had wondered if it was our soil or just the unbearable heat that caused the droopiness on this tomato…so glad to know that we are not alone. It is a beautiful tomato, but I don’t think we’ll plant it again either.


  7. michelle on

    I started out really excited about this tomato because of it’s large size I grew it for 2 years as my main crop for canning. The very first tomato went bad with black on the end. They were grown on virgin soil and I was really surprised! The whole crop was riddled with blackened tomatoes with occasional good tomatoes. The second year I was more careful to supplement the soil with calcium and plenty of organic supplements. It was a repeat of blackened and rotting tomatoes with almost no eatable tomatos. I had planted 2 dozen or more plants. What a disappointment. I am looking for a different tomato for my crop in 2011.


  8. fleurdee on

    (I’m also late – just found the site) I was pleased with this large meaty tomato for canning. I’m in a misty mountain environment, zone 6 but in the South. I had a few bad fruits, but the rest were fine and plentiful.
    It was droopy-looking, and got that fungal wilt like all my others, but it bore a good crop despite that. I liked that it matured late – the fruits were harvestable in late Aug. – Sept., so it spread out the canning season instead of my being overwhelmed with the usual all-at-once occurence. I will continue to grow this one.


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