Dixana
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Decisions, decisions...

I'm narrowing down my seed selections, or trying to, and am having a really hard time choosing between tomatoes.
The first one I'm battling is between Japanese Black Trifele and Black from Tula. I'm about 95% sure JBT is the tomato I had saved seeds from (I got them at a Farmer's Market a couple hours south of here). They were WONDERFUL. BUT, tons upon tons of people have told me Black from Tula are the best black tomatoes. Thoughts anyone?

The second is my regular red tomatoes. I need a tomato that will do it all. Good tasting enough for sandwiches and salads but versatile enough for salsa. I didn't do salsa this year and am regretting it BIG TIME!!! In the past I just got plants from the greenhouse, but after tasting all the different kinds last summer I just can't do it.

Any other tom lovers want to pitch in their 2 cents?
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TZ -OH6
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When I grew JBT and BFT they had different flavors. JBT had an earthy/ smokey "black tomato" flavor similar to Black Krim, while BFT did not. BFT flavor was similar to Cherokee Purple and Carbon, although both had better flavor than Carbon. JBT is a meaty pear shaped fruit so it would be as good or better than BFT (beefsteak) for making sauce, IMO.

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tomakers
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I would not say BFT was the best black tomato, but neither is JBT. I definitely like the taste of Black From Tula better than Japanese Black Triffle, but JBT produced a lot more tomatoes in my garden.
As far as red tomatoes, I think you can make salsa from any tomato, it doesn't even have to be red.
Maybe you should grow some Green When Ripe tomatoes. They are my favorites, or one of them. :D
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Tom
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tedln
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I have BFT seed germinating understanding it has an excellent taste. I also understand it doesn't hold up well after reaching its ripe stage. You supposedly have to eat it fast or it will get mushy. I also have Black Krim, JD's Special C Tex, Indian Stripe, Carbon, Spudakee, and a few other blacks germinating. My highest expectations are for the Carbons.

Ted
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Dixana
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I had black krimm last year and loved it. The JBT I tried was awesome, similar to the krimm but a deeper flavor. Carbon are one I haven't heard of, let me know how they are
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tomakers
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tedln wrote:I have BFT seed germinating understanding it has an excellent taste. I also understand it doesn't hold up well after reaching its ripe stage. You supposedly have to eat it fast or it will get mushy. I also have Black Krim, JD's Special C Tex, Indian Stripe, Carbon, Spudakee, and a few other blacks germinating. My highest expectations are for the Carbons.

Ted
Roger on the BFT. Carbon is usually the first large "black" tomato ripe in my garden. I do like them. My favorite is probably Paul Robeson, but sometimes it doesn't crop well and so far never early.
JMO,
Tom
I never met a fish I didn't like.....

petalfuzz
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I second the green-when-ripe suggestion. I grew Green giants and they made the best salsa: so delicious! They really held a lot of their flavor after cooking. The green giants were also great in sandwiches as slicers cause they get big! They'd probably do great in salads because they are very meaty and wouldn't leak juice all over the lettuce. I'm growing them again this year :) Of course, you'd have to be open to "salsa verde"--my DH sometimes has aversions to foods that aren't the "right" color. :lol:

Lunacy
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This is my second year gardening in my small back yard garden, I'm trying many of the varieties you posted about. Here is my tomato list, I just started them all from seed:

Carbon
Brandywine
Black Trifele
Hillbilly Potato leaf
Ananas Noir
Cherokee Green
Sun Gold Cherry
Stupice
Evista
Mr. Stripey
Black cherry
Tumbling Toms
Black from Tula
Persimmon

Yes I will have to squeeze them in.
The only one I grew last year was the Mr. stripey it was my favorite, I'm hoping to find some even tastier this year.

tedln
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Lot of folks have been suggesting the "green when ripe" tomatoes are really good. I've never grown or eaten one. Seems to be a wide variety to choose from and I have no idea which is best. They have everything from cherry varieties to beefsteak varieties. My assumption has been the GWR varieties probably have a taste and texture similar to tomatillas. Kinda sweet and tart. How wrong am I?

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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digitS'
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I see that you are in zone 4, Dixana.

Of course, winter extremes don't have much to do with the tomato growing season but it may mean an awfully short season. Days-to-maturity don't have much basis in reality for my garden. Nights are so cool that the ripening an 80-day tomato is real, real questionable. So, I'm looking at all this discussion with a little jealousy . :?

I'd like to think that Black Krim or Black from Tula might do okay since I've heard that they are more early maturing but I heard that about Box Car Willie. Only 1 fruit on eachBox Car Willie plant was able to ripen during the growing season.

I don't know your location, Dixana. Thessaloniki is an heirloom red slicer is good in my garden. It tolerates the arid conditions, doesn't split and ripens a couple weeks before frost.

Prudens Purple ripens a little later and is a real nice pink (it isn't really purple). Bloody Butcher is probably a little juicy for salsa making but it has a lot of flavor for a very early maturing tomato.

At one time, I lived about 500 feet higher in elevation. I may have had an average 100 days frost-free but, I don't think so :shock: . At that time, I thought I could only grow SubArctics for a ripe tomato!

Steve
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Dixana
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Digits, do you start your seeds indoors? I've never had a problem ripening tomatoes. I do see my beautiful tom plants die before they're done producing every year though. I start my seedlings around mid March and they go in the ground about a week before Memorial day. Usually people here wait until May 31, but I don't have a problem covering if need be and my backyard is higher ground and very sunny so it thaws fast.

Lunacy, I am so jealous. I don't have that kind of room......well not right now anyway :twisted: Seeing as we don't have a dog anymore we don't really NEED a backyard, right?
Unless I expand I can fit about 8 toms with everything else I want to grow.
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lorax
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I'd like to put in a vote for the Gold to Orange when ripe tomatoes as all-round sauce/sammidge/salsa fruits. Particularly, 'Pineapple' has been very prolific for me, is resistant to my heat and more sturdy against the menace of mildew. Plus the tomatoes themselves are really really tasty - less acidic than regular red beefies, with a hint of sweetness that offsets the aji peppers I use in salsa rojo nicely.

This cycle, I'm growing:

Cherokee Purple
Pineapple (again, it was so good last time)
Pomodori (heirloom Roma type)
Guantia (Ecuadorean heirloom red Roma/Sammidge type)
Golden Queen (if the mildew doesn't kill it)
Strawberry
Golden Tree (S. betaceum)
Wine Tree (S. betaceum)
Tomatito (S. betaceum ssp. unknown)
Green Tomatillo

Dixana
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I wonder how the black pineapple compares to the regular one....
I'm getting some in a trade! We'll have to see how they are.
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digitS'
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Dixana wrote:Digits, do you start your seeds indoors? I've never had a problem ripening tomatoes. I do see my beautiful tom plants die before they're done producing every year though. I start my seedlings around mid March and they go in the ground about a week before Memorial day. Usually people here wait until May 31, but I don't have a problem covering if need be and my backyard is higher ground and very sunny so it thaws fast. . .
Yes, I do start seed each year, Dixana. Seed is sown indoors the last of February and I set the plants out about when you do.

Covering outdoors is sometimes necessary. It sure was in 2010! But, even without late frosts, on average - overnight lows are in the 40's until after June 15th.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Dixana
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BRRR! I need my summer heat!!
Though this coming summer I might want arctic temps...my last baby I would sit outside in December and Jan in a t-shirt cuz I was always hot.
How many months do you get warm nights?

Here we're usually frost free roughly May 18 through mid-sept/early oct. June is usually in the 50's at night, but weather here is fickle. We've had beyond hot summers and unusually cold ones. I never know what is going to happen.
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farmerlon
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tedln wrote:Lot of folks have been suggesting the "green when ripe" tomatoes are really good. I've never grown or eaten one. Seems to be a wide variety to choose from and I have no idea which is best. They have everything from cherry varieties to beefsteak varieties. My assumption has been the GWR varieties probably have a taste and texture similar to tomatillas. Kinda sweet and tart. How wrong am I?

Ted
The only one that I have grown so far is Green Zebra ... and I really like it.
To me, it has an added "citrus" flavor. Sort of like a tomato with some sweet orange juice injected into it.

For me, a great heirloom red tomato mixed with Green Zebra makes the ultimate tomato sandwich!
Green Zebras are also a really nice size for salads; they're typically a little larger than a "cherry" tomato ... and I love to slice Green Zebras and add them as a pizza topping.

I am going to have to try some other green tomato varieties ... always too many interesting tomato varieties and too little time & space! :D

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Ted,

Green When Ripes have a wide range of flavors. Green Zebra and Lime Green Salad (Tom Wagner creations) often have a tartness and "differnt" flavor that not everyone likes, and they taste nothing like the beefsteaks such as Green Giant, Cherokee Green, Evergreen, Moldovan Green et al. I would say that the latter have a flavor profile and texture similar to many bicolors I have tried.

As for the green beefteaks, Cherokee Green and Green Giant are probably the best of the best. I have grown Green Grape cherry and liked it (no odd flavors), but I have heard that Green Doctors cherry sometimes has has a "grassy" flavor.

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applestar
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What does "citrus-y" flavor mean? Orange? Lemon? Lime? Grapefruit? :?:

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digitS'
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Dixana wrote:. . . How many months do you get warm nights?

Here we're usually frost free roughly May 18 through mid-sept/early oct. June is usually in the 50's at night, but weather here is fickle. We've had beyond hot summers and unusually cold ones. I never know what is going to happen.
Not knowing what will happen seems to be true wherever I have ever been - the wait 5 minute story :wink: !

The growing season is probably just about exactly the same as yours, Dixana. It isn't that we don't have heat. It's that we don't have much humidity - 20% or below nearly every summer afternoon. Spring clouds linger but then it turns hot, then cool, then hot . . . 30° swings daily highs & lows by the end of summer. Makes for comfortable sleeping . . .

It could be worse. And, it is worse, ;) or more extreme anyway, in high-elevation deserts.

S'
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applestar wrote:What does "citrus-y" flavor mean? Orange? Lemon? Lime? Grapefruit? :?:
Yes! :P

tedln
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I've found over the years that most of my tomatoes have a very different flavor if eaten when only half ripe. If they still have green shoulders or green striping before becoming fully ripe, they seem to have a more fruity or slightly tart flavor. If allowed to fully ripen, that flavor seems to disappear and is replaced with a more mellow taste. It seems more pronounced in my fall tomatoes because they usually are not as large and seem to take longer to ripen due to the shorter days and cooler weather.

Is "failure to ripen" what is going on with "Green when ripe" tomatoes? If left on the vine until they rot, do they remain fully green until they rot?

The normal "red when ripe" varieties which taste like cardboard when ripe; also seem to taste like cardboard if eaten only half ripe. The flavor component seems to develop early and change as the fruit ripens. If they are flavorless early, it seems they remain flavorless when ripe.

Ted
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farmerlon
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tedln wrote:...
Is "failure to ripen" what is going on with "Green when ripe" tomatoes? If left on the vine until they rot, do they remain fully green until they rot?
...
No, I don't think it's failure to ripen.
For instance, the Green Zebra gets increasingly yellow in color as it gets "over-ripe" ... and it's not a "pretty" yellow that you would see on a yellow tomato variety; it's an "I'm on the downward spiral" kind of yellow. :lol:

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farmerlon
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applestar wrote:What does "citrus-y" flavor mean? Orange? Lemon? Lime? Grapefruit? :?:
I said orange (like orange juice)... you must have been reading too fast. :)

Of course, that's just my take on it... as they say, your results may vary. :)

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Green when ripes are basically yellow tomatoes that have an additional double recessive gf (green flesh) gene, which causes them to retain chlorophyll in the flesh upon ripening. They are fully ripe. Another way to think of it is that they are a "black" tomato with the red color lacking.


color genes R=red flesh, r=yellow flesh, gf=greenflesh, gs=green stripe

Red tomato RR--
Yellow/white/gold rr--
Black tomato RRgfgf
Green when ripe rrgfgf
add stripes rrgfgfgsgs...=green zebra


https://tgrc.ucdavis.edu/Data/Acc/Genes.aspx



as for citrussy flavor

Tomatoes have both citric and malic acid. Malic acid is used in SweetTarts and other supersour candies. The levels of these acids can vary from variety to variety and year to year. My brandywines last year reminded me of the flavor burst from eating an orange. This is different from what I consider to be "Acid" tomato flavor. Green zebra has the same tartness flavor component (mainly in the gel), which could be viewed as citrussy if enough sugar is there to balance it.

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