mogull13
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Roma's taste "mealy" and aren't juicy :(

Any ideas on why this is happening? Did I harvest to early? This is my first time growing tomatoes; any help would be appreciated!

cynthia_h
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Romas were developed as a *cooking* tomato. They have less seedy jelly than other cultivars and proportionately more "meat."

I have put up truly wonderful tomato sauce from Romas but found them disappointing eating out of hand.

I can't answer as to whether you may have harvested too soon, but when they're a nice deep red and have that tomato aroma, they're ready.

Blanch them so they'll peel more easily, cut in half and squeeze the seeds out (unless you like seeds in your tomato sauce), and start 'em cooking. Meanwhile, find a tomato ("pasta") sauce recipe you like and get cooking....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

mogull13
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Thank you Cynthia! I will try them in cooking and maybe wait a bit longer to harvest...always the anxious gardener!

siren1024
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I was going to say, I have always found Romas to be somewhat mealy and not juicy enough for my taste.

They do make EXCELLENT canning tomatoes, however. I have never grown them myself, but my grandfather would always give me his extras. He always uses them for pickling tomatoes because they hold together better than most, which probably explains the dissapointing raw texture. I just blanch mine, as cynthia said, to get the skins off, then I can them whole, italian style, seeds and all.

I just can them right in a bit of tomato juice with lemon juice (or citric acid) and a pinch of salt. The versatility is awesome with this method, because after you open them they can be crushed, diced, stewed down, or any other size or texture, plus you can use them in Italian sauces as well as chili, soups, stews, or anything else you may want them for.

Good luck!

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gixxerific
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Romas are also good to make Pico de Gallo with. I just made a huge batch of that myself. Mmmmm Good!

Dono

TZ -OH6
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Its kinda funny to realize that alot of tomatoes are unfit for fresh eating... in order to save time and money when cooking them down into sauce. They need to put a big sign in the grocery store "not designed for fresh eating" Unfortunately that "saucing" quality makes them good for shipping and storage as a supermarket tomato, and so they are often better than the supermarket "eating" tomatoes. Before I started growing tomatoes I prefered Romas if I had to buy supermarket tomatoes.

siren1024
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TH-, I also used to buy Romas when we lived in San Antonio if I just had to buy tomatoes. Reason being, most of the Romas in the supermarkets were grown much closer to "locally" than any of the rest of them.

I grew up eating fresh tomatoes all summer long because we'd always get left overs from relatives and friends. For that reason, I'm sort of spoiled to super juicy, sweet, acidic tomatoes, and the only ones that "do it" for me from the supermarket are the ones still on the vine, which are like, $3-4 for five small tomatoes. That's why I decided to grow my own this year.

My Dad managed a store in a local chain that only buys fresh tomatoes from local growers all season long. No greenhouse varieties allowed. He told me that most of the mass producers who supply the large chains pick and ship them when they aren't even ripe yet. They usually turn red in storage instead of on the vine as God and Mother Nature intended, therefore, have little flavor.

Now, I've got nothing against a green tomato, I'll bread that thing and fry it in a heartbeat, but don't sell me a frying tomato as a sandwich tomato. No way.

siren1024
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gixxerific wrote:Romas are also good to make Pico de Gallo with. I just made a huge batch of that myself. Mmmmm Good!

Dono
I totally agree! They are easier to slice and the low juice and seed content makes them perfect for it. It's hard to make with a wetter tomato, especially when you are adding lime juice and salt.

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somegeek
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Great for salsa as well!

TZ -OH6
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A very large proportion of the "on the vine" organic tomatoes are hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes, which are a billion times better than the Florida/Mexico winter field grown picked green and then gassed fruit. The hydroponic greenhouses can't produce the volume of cheap tomatoes that can be field grown so they concentrate on quality, and wait for the first blush of color before picking so that the fruit are "vine ripened" and don't need to be gassed. So while "hothouse tomato" used to be a derogatory term, now it really should be reevaluated. Unfortunately they still have to use varieties designed for looks, production and shelf life rather than flavor.

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Gary350
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I grow 1 whole row of Roma Tomatoes about 14 plants just for canning. I have canned 9 quarts and 6 pints so far. They are great for sauces, stews, chili, soups. They are not good eating tomatoes.

I cook a 3 gallon pot of Roma tomatoes and mash them with the potato masher. Then I strain out the skins. What is left is a very thick, red, tasty, meaty, rich sauce with unbelievable good flavor.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to quarts and 1/4 tsp of salt to pints if your canning. I should have another 50 pints canned by the end of August.



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