Violet Jasper Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2011

Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2011

This was not supposed to be the first tomato I did a tasting on for the season. The tomato that I was supposed to do first fell victim to several instances of “oh look, tomatoes on the counter. I will just use them and I am sure no one will mind.” Have I mentioned, that for the past, I don’t know, 5, 6 years now I have made it an important part of my blog and life to taste different tomatoes? Don’t you think that might make friends and family (particularly family) ask before taking the tomatoes on the counter? I had 3 tomatoes from the first plant to get ripe tomatoes and 3 different people (read family members) walked into my kitchen and ate them – one by one. *sigh* Well, I guess there will be more tomatoes and it is in a way a compliment to the gardener.

But that really does not have any bearing on the tomatoes I am tasting today. The Violet Jasper tomato failed in my garden last year — wilt (arggggg!!). This year, so far from my adoptive plant parents, I have had glowing reviews, so I am looking forward to trying this one finally. Also, it is a Chinese tomato, which I believe is a first for me. Yet one more thing in my home labeled “Made in China” — which according to my kids is where all the best toys come from (think on that one for a second, then do a mental rimshot) — so maybe it is true of tomatoes too.

The description from the company I bought it from reads:

When these little Oriental jewels ripen, your eyes will be stunned with color. They have pretty violet-purple fruit with iridescent green streaks! Fruit weigh 1-3 ounces, are smooth and have good tasting, dark purplish-red flesh. This variety will also amaze you with its yield: it’s not only high, but incredibly high, being one of the most productive tomatoes we have grown.

The Beauty Pageant:

Size: Uniformly about the size of a golf ball.

Shape: Soft heart shape with rounded sides. They did crack A LOT. It has been a tough year on tomatoes for this due to the large amounts of rain, but these cracked more than most of the tomatoes in my garden.

Color: These are a very pretty tomato. Not quite purple, but a dark red. And the stripes really are iridescent green. The stripes really do shimmer. It does look like someone placed gold leaf on the tomato.

The inside:Fairly tight gel with medium size seeds, given the size of the fruit. Core is thin as are the walls.

Texture:Really soft and really mealy (I tried several, just in case). Plus that pretty skin is pretty thick. Not pleasant.


Off the Vine Tasting: Gel has a somewhat sour tomato flavor, which is nice, but the flesh is pretty bland. And the flesh is so mealy, it is really hard to get past that when tasting the tomato.

Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt pretty much destroys anything positive this tomato had going for it. It becomes horribly bland and mealy to boot.

Cooking Thoughts: I can’t think of one good thing to do with this tomato other than a nice table decoration. It is too mealy for a salad and too bland to add much to cooking or salsa.

Growing Notes:

Healthy plant. Succumbed fast to wilt last year, but many tomatoes do. This year it is a vigorous plant with plenty of fruit.

Will Hanna grow this one again:

No. Unfortunately, it has followed in the steps of many other pretty tomatoes I have tried (and pretty men I have dated). All form and no substance — plus just really unpleasant once you got to know them.

6 thoughts on “Violet Jasper Tomato: Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2011
  1. Great analogy in your conclusion! I am SO glad to review your review of this one. I have never had a heritage type tomato & I was of the assumption that ALL heritage tomato were tastier than “regular” ones! I feel enlightened!


  2. What a disappointment with such a beautiful tomato! I would have never thought by looking at it that it would have been anything other than amazing.

    I had no idea there were so many different varieties until reading your tomato tastings. Love them and can’t wait for the next!


  3. I wish I could talk about various kinds of tomatoes! The incredible heat and drought in my part of the world just burned up everything I planted except for one cherry tomato and it is looking close to leaving this life. If we could get a bit of coolers weather and some rain, it might revive and bear some fruit. Someday I’ll find a tomato that will do well in our conditions. Maybe they grow something in the Sahara that might work.


  4. sara on

    I’m so jealous of your wet weather. Most of my tomatoes succumbed to drought this summer. They began to ripen in late June and went gangbusters all July but by the end of July, diseases and bugs had taken advantage of the drought stressed plants. Our favorite was a favorite of past seasons which is the sungold…LOVE IT! The costoluta genovese was a failure. The bistro hybrid was a disappointment with very tough skins. The sugary hybrid diasppointed as well. It was flavorless. The black krim was an excellent tremendously large tomato but produced very few fruit same with the brandywine red, tasty but poor production. The staple of the garden was the old standby…Better Boy.


  5. Hannah,

    Even with a not-so good tomato like this one , I am envious of the fact that you have tomatoes that are ripening. August is half over and only one of my tomatoes is Finally starting to show color…maybe by the weekend I will have my first tomatoes of the season. I hope….

    I will, however keep yours in mind of something to avoid. I did black MRI this year because I had tried it for the first time last year and loved it.

    Hoping to hear more on your tomato tasting.


    PS. I just wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying your blog and now the information on your tomato tasting and other endeavors in your garden.

    I have been following you and linking to you for some time. I was wondering if you would consider linking back to me. I would be truly honored.

    You can find my blog at

    Thanks, Yael


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