Thursday, June 9, 2011
Tomato Taste-Off, Part One
I picked out the ones that weren't ripe yet and set them on the counter. Next, I picked out some of the prettiest ones and set them aside for eating fresh. Last were the ones to go in the freezer. I got two big gallon ziplocs out of the first round and half a ziploc of Romas later.
When George gets time, he'll cook them down for pasta sauce. It's going to be heavenly! Tomatoes, onions, peppers, parsley, oregano, marjoram and thyme, all from the garden. I can't wait to eat some. It's so satisfying to sit down to a meal that the majority of was raised by me.
Once inside, I simply cut the tomato horizontally, squeeze the seeds into a labeled cup, fill with water and set off to the side to ferment. I've got them sitting on a table in the corner of the dining room and they're already drawing fruit flies. Nine varieties so far (two cups are Cherokee Purple).
Along the way of all this freezing and seed saving I did some tasting. Here's how the contestants are faring so far.
Cherokee Purple ~ Flavor: strong, bold and rich. One of my favorite tomatoes. My two plants have produced like crazy, probably because I got them in so early, though I had heard CP produces well in the heat.
Oxheart ~ Flavor: Usual tomato taste, acidic, pretty darn good. MASSIVE tomatoes at first. Produces quite a bit, probably because I got them in early (second wave of planting).
Riesentraube ~ Flavor: full bodied, sweet but acidity shines through just enough. Large cherry size. Produces in a large bunch with a dozen or more on each truss. Has set two trusses so far.
Silvery Fir Tree ~ Flavor: Strong and acidic, VERY good. Small slicing size. Average amount of seeds, average to low amount of meat, and tough skins. Pretty inside regardless. Weak plant, not drought tolerant at all ~ never got very big (1/6 the size of others planted at same time) and died after a few days without water when others next to it just wilted (might do better in a cooler climate or some other year than this record-breaking HOT drought).
Juliet ~ Flavor: nothing special, but pretty good when you haven't had home grown tomatoes for a year. Tough skin. HEAVY producer, early, too.
Matt's Wild Cherry ~ Flavor: tart and acidic. Lots of flavor for such a tiny little thing. Tough skins. Produces absolutely like MAD.
Sungold ~ Flavor: nothing special again. HEAVY and early producer.
Roma ~ Flavor: rich and yummy as ever. Meaty with few seeds. Heavy producer at first since it's a determinate. Will cut it back and fertilize heavily after this flush to see if I can get another.
Principe Borghese ~ Flavor: nothing special and kind of bland. Supposed to be delicious when dried, so I'll try that with the next few. Didn't produce too many, but this plant was one of the last I put in.