Friday, September 11, 2009

The Great Tomato Taste-Off!

All those gorgeous tomatos (see photo) and what a fun activity! The contestants: six hybrid and nineteen heirloom tomatoes from all over the world, most provided by our generous JL.

Black Sea Man
Box Car Willie
Cherokee Purple
Cour di Bue
Debbie Beefsteak
Furry Yellow Hog
Great White
Jaune Flammee
Kellogg's Breakfast
Mormon World’s Earliest
Noir de Crimee
Principe Borghese
Santa Clara Canner
Yellow Pear


Early Girl
Green Zebra

We broadened our tomato horizons with all the many wonderful and exotic flavors. Who knew a tomato could remind you of a peach, have a citrusy flavor, or even have slightly smokey overtones? The judges (everyone who came to taste) considered every bite. A serious business indeed. What we discovered was that a tomato has a lot more potential than just a sauce puree or a slice on a hamburger. Think of a colored tomato sauce livening up a bland pasta dish, a gorgeous muli-colored salsa, smokey-toned tomatoes with fish, citrusy flavors with chicken... or any number of creative dishes. (Lucky me, I made a gallon and a half of that gorgeous salsa from the cut tomatoes after the event -- red base with white, yellow, red and green pieces of tomato.)

And the results of the voting are in! The top ten winners are:
  1. Furry Yellow Hog (Novelty, yellow-striped, very slightly fuzzy, with a bright citrusy flavor)
  2. Great White (Beefsteak. Large, yellowish-white and flavorful, with a creamy texture you could wrap your tongue around.) [tied with #3]
  3. Yellow Pear (small yellow pear-shaped. Sweet and perfect for salads, this produces prolifically)
  4. Green Zebra (Light green and yellow stripes, bred from four heirlooms, with a burst of tangy flavor)
  5. Cherokee Purple (dusky rose to purple colored beefsteak, close to 1 lb. Rich, deeply complex, and sweet flavor)
  6. Jaune Flammee (Orange-colored, apricot-shaped, with a sweet flavor that would be wonderful dried)
  7. Polfast (Early, red, sets fruit in cool weather) [tied with numbers 8, 9, & 10]
  8. Roma (standard red Italian paste tomato, with flavor intensified by drying or cooking)
  9. Box Car Willie (Smooth, bright-orange/red slicer)
  10. Cour di Blue (Heart-shaped with meaty flesh & few seeds, excellent for sun-drying. Deep red.)
I'm already planning to grow six of the top ten tomatoes and excited to look at the internet to find some more heirlooms to try. Other tasters will do the same. So, we're already planning to have another Great Tomato Taste-off next year. I can't wait! [Shhh, can you keep a secret? Next year the men get to come, too!]

1 comment:

R.L. said...

Jacque indicates that the Green Zebra is not a hybrid, but a "created heirloom".