Wow, I did hear back from Dan Gill, Louisiana State University horticulturist, already, and on a weekend! Very interesting to say the least!
Lycopersicon esculentum is the Latin name that is applied to all tomatoes (it's literal translation is "edible wolf peach"). Every tomato of every type grown around the world belongs to this genus and species and shares this Latin name.
Within this species are various types of tomatoes that are simply genetic variations, including vining types, bush types, small fruited types (grape and cherry tomatoes), meaty types (paste), medium fruited types, large fruited types and many different colors, including red, pink, yellow, "white," green, "black," and stripped. We generally make groups out of these genetic variations, such as cherry tomatoes, paste tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, etc.
Within the groups, there are different varieties (or more properly, cultivars). So, within the cherry tomatoes examples of cultivars would be 'Cherry Grande' (one of my favorites), 'Sweet Million' and 'Cupid'. Among the bush types would be 'Celebrity', 'Mountain Pride' and 'Florida 47'. See how it works. They are all Lycopersicon esculentum.
Now, getting to the Creole tomato. We use this name two ways. The incorrect way is to say that Creole is a particular cultivar of tomato. In other words, you would go out and plant 'Creole' transplants or seeds to grow Creole tomatoes - and this is the only way to produce Creole tomatoes. In fact, 'Creole' is the name of a tomato cultivar released from LSU breeding efforts back around the middle of the 20th Century. Over time it was superseded by new, more disease resistant, and more productive cultivars. As far as LSU is concerned, this cultivar no longer exists. Although you may see 'Creole' tomato transplants available at the nursery, we really don't know where the growers are getting the Creole tomato seeds and or what these tomatoes actually are. LSU has not produced certified 'Creole' tomato seeds for decades.
The way Creole is used properly these days is for marketing purposes. Local tomato growers can call their tomatoes "Creole" because they were locally grown in the warm climate and fertile river soils of the area , and because they are grown close to the local market they can be allowed to vine ripen. All of this contributes to a very flavorful tomato. It doesn't matter what cultivar they use. None of them use the old fashioned 'Creole' cultivar. They just have to plant cultivars that will produce red, medium to large tomatoes grow them locally. The same thing holds for the home gardener. Unfortunately, many of home gardeners still think they need to plant the 'Creole' cultivar to grow Creole tomatoes. But this is simply not the case.
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. Addison