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CharlieK
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Location: Covington, LA USA

Creole tomatoes?

Lycopersicon esculentum

Is this the only creole tomato or does "creole tomato" include any tomato variety grown in alluvial soil of the Mississippi River in and around New Orleans, Louisiana? I have been confused by my research and would like to know what you guys think.
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. Addison

dahoss2002
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:37 am
Location: Louisiana

I ordered some creole tomato seeds and have already transplanted 6 seedling plants in my garden. I ordered them from "Tomatofest" and here is their description...."Creole-
An heirloom developed in Louisiana for hot, humid climates. This variety has a very loyal following. Yields 3-inch, round, firm, red fruit with a lots of juice and delicious tomatoey flavors with good acidity."
I'm looking forward to see if these and the other varieties I'm trying will live up to the hype.
I'd rather be lucky than good

Ariadnele
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: New Orleans, Lousiana

I've always been told that Creole was a variety of tomato and not just any type that are grown around or south of New Orleans along the river.

I'm not sure where Dan Gill got that information or if he even communicated correctly what he was trying to say. I'd suggest sending him an email asking clarification.

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CharlieK
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Location: Covington, LA USA

I've got an e-mail into Dan but will probably not get an answer over the week end. Stay tuned! :wink:
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. Addison

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CharlieK
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 8:32 am
Location: Covington, LA USA

Wow, I did hear back from Dan Gill, Louisiana State University horticulturist, already, and on a weekend! Very interesting to say the least!
Charlie:
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.
Dan Gill
LSU AgCenter
Consumer Horticulturist
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. Addison

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tomakers
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Location: Cranberry Country, SE MA - zone 6?

Seems like Tomatofest is up to his usual BS. He is famous or infamous for finding tomatoes no one has heard of before, i.e. renaming varieties.
JMO,
Tom

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