Reisetomate Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2010

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2010

I know I said that I would likely not be able to do a review of the reisetomate because my plant was dying. And this is true. My plant looks like Godzilla breathed on it and then wiped his feet on it. But, I grew more than one of these plants and distributed them among friends, family, civic employees and perfect strangers — really anyone who would take the tomato seedling that I foisted at them. So, when word got out that I was going to miss out on reviewing this tomato, one of my adoptive plant parents sent me one so I could still do the review. Yeah!

This tomato’s name translates to “travel tomato” and supposedly is called this because people grow it to travel with it. It is a pretty freaky looking tomato. Those are not bumps you see in the picture, they’re lobes. You can tear one of them off and barely nick the rest of the tomato.

Even the company that sells them says it is a pretty crappy tasting tomato, so why did I buy it? Because is just looks that damn neat.

The description from the place I bought them from reads reads:

The most novel tomato we have seen, this tomato is like a big bunch of cherry tomatoes all fused together: an amazing trait that had everyone here asking questions about the alien-looking, bumpy tomatoes. Bright red tomatoes taste–well, rather sour, strong and acid. The perfect tomato for those who love raw lemons, but who cares? They are still far-out and groovy.

The Beauty Pageant:

Size: slightly smaller than a fist.

Shape: It is shaped a lot like a head of garlic without the paper skin. The lobes are shaped almost exactly like garlic cloves.

Color: Bright red.

The inside:Each lobe is set up like its own tomato, with a core seeds and gel. Seeds are a medium size and the cores in the lobes are rather small.

Texture: Very thick skin, which makes sense as it was bred to travel well. Thick skin means less damage when bumped around and that it will keep longer. It is pretty mealy too.

Tasting:

Off the Vine Tasting: Not great but not as bad as I was expecting. Certainly, I have had worse. It is a STRONG tomato, with strong tomato flavor and a little on the sour side, but I would not say lemon sour as the description suggests.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salting reduces the sour flavor and makes this a much more plain jane flavored tomato.

Cooking Thoughts: This would make a super awesome “picnic” tomato for an artisanal picnic. You know, the kind with cheese, bread, fruit and the like. Perfect for that. Also fun for kids lunch boxes as it would be cool for them to pull it apart.

Growing Notes:

Mine is dead, dead, but my friend tells me his is growing well and is prolific.

Will Hanna grow this one again:

Probably not. Fun, undoubtedly, but I just don’t have room in my garden for fun tomatoes. But, I would recommend that everybody try growing these at least once, just for the novelty.

6 thoughts on “Reisetomate Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2010
  1. We grew these this year and they were the most prolific of the larger tomatoes. The flavor wasn’t as bad as I had expected either. Definitely not a favorite, but no cracking or cat facing, so I’ll probably keep it in rotation.

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  2. Holy cow, I’ve never seen anything like that. I guess it would make a good conversation piece.

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  3. This one actually seems to make a wonderful ornamental plant. It could go well with ornamental varieties of cabbage – this could make up a really interesting border, together with some sunflowers and maybe beans.

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  4. Wow, talk about a freak of nature! Can you imagine the first breeder who noticed this odd multi-lobe mutation and wanted MORE of it? Too bad it isn’t as tasty as it is funny-looking. I’m really having fun reading your latest tomato tastings.

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  5. Diann Thoma on

    Pretty disappointing to grow tomatoes that don’t grow well or worse, don’t taste good, isn’t it? So last year I used Amy Goldman’s fabulous-looking book, The Heirloom Tomato. I was really stoked! And then I was very disappointed when the harvest came. First of all, some of the seeds I bought from Tomatofest were not the tomato they were supposed to be, not Amy’s fault of course. (I’m in Champaign, IL.)
    Santa Clara Canner: 1-1.5″, sparse production, some rotting before ripe, taste good.
    Opalka: Prone to end rot, else OK Roma-style.
    Radiator Charlie (beefsteak): Very few tomatoes. After first one, much smaller than advertised. Uneven ripening, including parts rotting while still unripe. Tasted decent when I got anything worth eating.
    Dixie Golden: Very late, few tomatoes, tasted good. My notes say “Do not replant.”
    Manitoba: Much blight, few tomatoes. My notes say “do not replant.”
    Ceylon: Lots of small knobby tomatoes, tasted good.
    The real winner was Matt’s Wild Cherry, a rampant-growing and producing very small cherry tomato, and yum yum yum!

    From 2009:
    Better Boy (beefsteak): Huge plant but not a big producer, taste 6/10, juice 8/10.
    Italian ice: White cherry tomato, OK taste later in the season, did not replant.
    4th of July: Very crisp skin, not a big producer, taste 5.5/10, juice 7.
    Marglobe: 3-4″ diameter, OK taste but mealy.
    Celebrity: although good-tasting tomatoes (7/10), plants were decimated by blight.
    Brandy Boy: Needs a huge cage. Not a big producer, but tasty (7-8/10) and juicy (same score).
    Black Truffle: Needs big cage. Small tomatoes. Taste 7/10, juice 7/10.
    Dr. Wyche Yellow: Big tomatoes but not a big producer. No tasting notes.
    German Pink: Large tomatoes, no tasting notes.
    Burpee’s Big Boy: Taste 5/10, juicy 8/10.

    In 2009, my garden partner and I were big on canning bloody mary mix, and we were (are) obsessed. In 2010 I was leaning more towards canning tomatoes vs. juice, since I still have many quarts of bloody mary mix, even after giving some away as gifts and drinking it without alcohol (quite tasty!).

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