Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2011
Ohhh… A black tomato. I love, love, love black tomatoes and am always keen to try new ones. I have to say that this one I bought for the name. What’s not to love about a tomato called “Southern Night”. It brings to mind sultry, steamy nights in New Orleans or Atlanta. Rich, thick and languid darkness filled with mystery and beauty. Well, it does right up until you learn that this tomato was developed in the USSR. Oops… I guess they had a different Southern Night in mind, but I can still dream that some cold and lonely Soviet plant breeder was dreaming of the warm and sultry US South when he named it.
The description from the company I bought this tomato from reads:
An attractive “Black” tomato developed in the old Soviet Union. Great tasting fruit are dark and intensely colored, being a deep maroon. Very sweet and luscious, these are hard to not eat right in the garden. A classic that is well worth growing if you like real flavor.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: About the size of a baseball.
Shape: Mostly round. There was cracking on the top as well.
Color: Deep reddish brown through the tomato with dark green shoulders.
The inside:Multi-chambered with slightly loose gel and rather large seeds.
Texture: Just a smidge mealy, but not enough to really be that bad.
Off the Vine Tasting: This is a good tomato. It starts out with very strong, deep tomato flavor and progresses into a savoriness that is reminiscent of beef. Plus, it has a wonderful aftertaste that stays with you, again, as though you have just taken a bite of steak.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt just turns all the flavors up and makes a party in your mouth.
Cooking Thoughts: This is a classic side dish tomato. Perfect for when you want to showcase to your friends what makes heirloom tomatoes awesome.
This has not been a big producer in my garden. Great tomatoes, but not many of them. As it is a Russian tomato and it is now getting cool outside, I may see an uptick in production now.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Yes, with a caveat. Certainly, the flavor of this tomato is a keeper, but if the production is not better, I just don’t have room for it. But, plants went in way late this year so that might be the reason for its under production. I will plant it again and give it another chance. Well worth it for the flavor.