Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2011
This tomato has eluded me since 2008. Every year I have planted the seeds and every year, disease, weather or my own stupidity took away my chance to add this tomato to my formal tomato list. But not this year, damn it. I have learned to label well, I have finally figured out how to rotate without spreading disease and a watering system has spared me most of the grief that weather can bring. This tomato is finally laid to rest on the tomato tasting list on this day. BTW, the seed viability shelf life on this tomato is outstanding.
The description from the company I bought this tomato from reads:
French heirloom. Produces dependable heavy, clusters of 6-ounce deep red, slightly flattened, oblate fruits that are meaty, lightly lobed and contain an excellent, complex, slightly tart taste. Iâ€™ve found that this variety also does well in the cooler summer conditions of California’s bay areas. An all-’round great tomato for slicing.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: As wide as a baseball, but just a smidge taller than a Krispy Kream donut (Mmmmâ€¦ donuts).
Shape: The is a pretty flat tomato. Ruffled shoulders, but not dramatically so.
Color: Pretty red but with some small splotches of orange, particularly around the shoulders.
The inside:Loose gel with medium seeds. Multi chambered with thin walls and a thick core.
Texture: Silky meat and gel. Skin is a bit thick but not terribly so. Definitely a messy tomato, though. Juice everywhere.
Off the Vine Tasting: Very strong savory flavor from the gel. Almost like a meat savory. There is a subtle sour flavor as well as just a little hint of sweetness. Nice solid tomato aftertaste.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt really tones down the sour, which leaves behind that sour and savory flavors. Really nice combination.
Cooking Thoughts: This is a good but messy sandwich tomato. I had juice all over me at the end of the tasting. But, I am thinking that it would be a great tomato to use for bruchetta. That juice would mingle, make friends and soak into the bread. Heaven.
Healthyâ€¦ this year. It has succumbed to disease pretty quickly in the past.
That being said, the plant has grown well and is healthy this yera. Looks to be producing well, too.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Maybe. Flavor is robust and complex. Texture is nice. But it does concern me that it took 3 years for me to get this tomato to a tasting. I donâ€™t have enough room in my garden to wait 3 years for a pretty good tomato.