Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2010
Yeah! I got a camera again so I can finish my tomato tastings. Well, actually, I got a smartphone, which is like a camera, a phone, a ball and chainÂ and a very expensive toy rolled into one. But hey, $150 a month in phone bills is worth it for the ability to play Bejewled ANYWHERE, right? In all seriousness though, this phone will let me work anywhere I like, which is a really nice thing and worth the business expense of it. Not that I won’t be playing Bejeweled occasionally, but what Uncle Sam doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
So, we have this tomato. I have to admit that this tomato has turned into the red headed step child of my garden this year. Sort of in between sizes and having been somewhat awkward in when and how it ripened (more on that later). So, we will see what I think of it, because thus far, it has been a bit of a pain.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
This very early variety bears loads of 2 to 4 oz. red fruit with terrific flavor normally found only in a huge beefsteak. The fact that its fruit is ripe up to a full month earlier than many beefsteak varieties makes Matina really special. Potato-leaved plants put on large clusters of abundant tomatoes, and even though they start early, continue to bear throughout a long season. Heirloom from Germany. Indeterminate
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: About the size of a racquetball (which is in between a golf ball and a baseball, for those of you who did not have a father who participated in the yuppie version of golf in the 1980s).
Shape: Mostly round with a divot at the stem top.
Color: Classic tomato red.
The inside:I was surprised at the size of the seeds, rather on the large side. They look like seeds from a much larger tomato. Core and walls are of a moderate thickness.
Texture: Smooth flesh with thick skin.
Off the Vine Tasting: Lots of tomato flavor. Nothing complicated. Both gel and flesh are almost equal in their flavors, which is what makes it rather uncomplicated on the flavor front.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt makes this tomato no more complex but does make it a smidge sweeter.
Cooking Thoughts: This is such classic tomato flavor, thatjust about any recipe that calls for uncooked tomatoes would work.
Sigh. This is why I do these. This tomato did not produce early. It did not produce all summer long. In fact, if it were not for the fact that it was listed as indeterminate, I would have sworn to you that it was determinate. It was prolific, however. A rush of little red tomatoes that all ripened in the span of 2 weeks. We were getting a little sick of eating Matina tomatoes after that, as I could not really sauce them due to the seed size, skin and modest amount of flesh.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
No. Flavor wise, this is a standard homegrown tomato. Great for some, but with a world of tomato flavor out there, why would you grow these. Beyond that, the growing habit being so different from what was described kinda pissed me off.