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Gary350
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Which Tomatoes have the best FLAVOR ?

Which tomatoes have the best flavor. Here is a list of what is typically available around here at Lowe's, Home Depot, Farmers Co-op, and Garden Center. I am open to other suggestions. I know flavor is a matter of opnion. I am looking for good tomato flavor like a fine wine. Beefsteak, BigBeef and Beefmaster are good slicing tomatoes. Roma is good for sauce.

Early Girl
Beefsteak
Beefmaster
BigBeef
Big Boy
Better Boy
Bradley
Rudger
Roma
Last edited by Gary350 on Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tedln
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Gary,

I've only had experience with one of the tomatoes on the list and that is the Better Boy. It has been my "standby" tomato for about thirty years. I will mess around with other varieties searching for better tasting, higher production, better disease resistance, and other factors, but I always have Better Boy planted also. I think it is a great tasting tomato. The flavor is best when the plant is not over watered.

If you want to go outside the list looking for the best tasting tomato, I haven't grown them; but I understand Cherokee Purple, Brandy Wine (Sudduth), and Black Krim top the list.

Ted
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Cirtes
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For my taste buds, none of the maters on your list that I have personally grown stand out on the taste scale.

Early Girl, Big Beef, Better Boy were all on the blandish side but with good acid for canning.

All three were prolific.

The heirloom Roma is excelent but the hybrid version lost most of it's good taste.

The only reason I plant this type of hybrid is for insurance against dissease. They do stand up to a lot of abuse from fungus.

Perhaps others can chime in on the Rutgers and Bradley.
Sunset Zone 21 - USDA Zone 10

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Gary350
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tedln wrote:Gary,

I've only had experience with one of the tomatoes on the list and that is the Better Boy. It has been my "standby" tomato for about thirty years. I will mess around with other varieties searching for better tasting, higher production, better disease resistance, and other factors, but I always have Better Boy planted also. I think it is a great tasting tomato. The flavor is best when the plant is not over watered.

If you want to go outside the list looking for the best tasting tomato, I haven't grown them; but I understand Cherokee Purple, Brandy Wine (Sudduth), and Black Krim top the list.

Ted
I planted Cherokee Purple last summer. It was a sour tomato like a white grapefruit with a bite to it like Rhubarb with not much flavor. I won't plant that one again. I did plant brandywine tomatoes last summer but I can not remember anything about the flavor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzY3QV6MkGs

TZ -OH6
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Gary,

If your Cherokee Purple tasted like that something was very wrong because it is a mellow full flavored tomato, not one with any type of acid bite. What you decribe could have been something like Purple Calabash assuming that your soil normally produces decent tasting tomatoes. In any case I would get new seed or get your plants from someplace else and try CP again.

tomato_girl
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My favorites are:

Earl of edgecombe (fruity taste)
Lithuanian crested pink
Rose de berne (very sweet)
Ananas vert, Ananas noire, Pineapple
Black russian
Black krim
German head
Tennessee surprise

...

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Ozark Lady
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The limited selection of plants locally is what convinced me to order my own seeds, and for 2010 grow my own tomato varieties.

I did go with simply what was available last year. And Roma from the store was a bust, no production. And the heirlooms that I paid alot for and bought as individual plants, did nothing, didn't die, didn't bloom, did nothing.

Beefmaster, did fine, and it took the heat (if you could call it heat) last year, and it bore until after Thanksgiving. I was impressed enough to save seeds and see what happens on the grow out.

Sweet 100 also did pretty good with the whacky summer we had.

Neither of these were taste champs, but compared with store bought there was no comparison at all.
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tedln
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tomato_girl wrote:My favorites are:

Earl of edgecombe (fruity taste)
Lithuanian crested pink
Rose de berne (very sweet)
Ananas vert, Ananas noire, Pineapple
Black russian
Black krim
German head
Tennessee surprise

...
Of the eight you listed, are any of them good producers? I don't want to plant a tomato with the expectation of only getting a couple of really good tasting tomatoes. Many people claim the Brandy Wine is great tasting, but don't expect many tomatoes from a plant. I'm growing a few BW plants this year just to see if they are low producers and taste as nice as people say. Even if they taste great, but produce only a few tomatoes; I won't grow them next year.

Ted
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TZ -OH6
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I wish I could help more with the hybrids and/or hot weather growing in the South. There are some southern growers on other forums whose opinions I respect. One of them sells seedlings as a hobby and has a website with some info on his favorite varieties. One of them is Big Beef, which he says outclasses Big Boy, Better Boy etc for flavor. California dry farmers rave about the flavor of EarlyGirl, which they call Dirty Girl when grown that way, but noone else seems to be overly impressed by EG.

Anyways, I hope his decriptions can help

https://www.selectedplants.com/varieties.htm


I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind an email from one of you inviting him to the forum to answer your questions about the best varieties (hybrid or heirloom) for heat, production, etc.

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Which Tomatoes have the best FLAVOR ?

Hi Gary!
I planted Cherokee Purple last summer. It was a sour tomato like a white grapefruit with a bite to it like Rhubarb with not much flavor. I won't plant that one again. I did plant brandywine tomatoes last summer but I can not remember anything about the flavor.
I don't know what kind of summer you had in 2009, but according to an heirloom tomato grower I know in California, she said that 2009 was the worst year for growing tomatoes in 100 years!! Most parts of the country had too much rain early in the season, followed by drought and more rain. So, I would not give much credence to how tomatoes tasted last summer.

All (or most) of the tomatoes you mentioned are hybrids. In my experience, hybrids do not taste as good as heirlooms, and certainly not as complex and refined as in a good wine. I always grow Early Girl and Better Boy as insurance against a tough summer, and they are significantly better than store bought.

For taste I grow heirlooms and recommend the following:

Neves Azorean - a big deep-red beefsteak, with bold, complex flavors, very good disease resistance and a moderate to high yield.

Carmello - the de-hybridized version. Fantastic taste and super-abundant yields. Disease resistant too!

Anna Russian - one of the finest oxhearts, which is easy to grow, has good disease resistance and is a very good producer

Eva Purple ball, Prudens Purple and Paul Robeson ( "black" tomato) are also fantastic.

You could call nurseries around your area to see what heirlooms they carry if you decide to go that route.

Cheers and Good Luck!

johnnytomatoseed
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good tasting tomatoes

Speaking for taste only I like , 4 th of July , first Lady , sweet million . I also like the old stand by " Marglobe ". President Lincoln is one of my favorites. Burpees beefsteak is good.
I will offer a couple suggestions that I think will improve the flavor of any tomates. Be sure it has plenty of sunshine. Use a fertilizer with a good phosphorus ratio. I preferr soft rock phosphate and bone meal. Compost. Fish cleaning leavings, bannas or peels. These things are not going to effect ground water.Protect tomatoes from sun scald. If the weather is very hot and sunny I pick them when not quite ripe , wrap them in newspaper or grocery bag material and put them in a cool dark place til they fully ripen. NOT IN A BRIGHT SUNNY KITCHEN WINDOW.
Another way is to spray them with Kaolin Clay. For deep southern gardens I am not sure.My sister in law from west central Florida said she could not grow tomates there. I bet I could. John
John R. Hartman

tedln
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Interesting comment about not being able to grow tomatoes in Florida. When I think of Florida, I think of the bread basket of commercial, farm raised tomatoes.

Ted
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sickles
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I grew several types of Brandywine last year. Yellow, orange, black, and red... all of these plants produced more tomatoes than I could eat!! They are not only tremendous producers, they are delicious tomatoes. Some other varieties you may want to explore are black krims, cherokee purple, tigerellas, black beauty, kellog breakfast... all of these are heirloom varieties. I got so tired of mealy, no flavor tomato strains found at local garden centers and lowes type hardware stores. Order them in 4 inch pots from a good internet provider!! Tad more money for alot more tomato!! Good Luck Friend!! Happy gardening!!
Heirloom Addict

johnnytomatoseed
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growing tomatos in florida.

:D :D I thought the same thing about Florida. It would seem to me that Florida would be the perfect place. Maybe with a few adjustments to Northern tomato culture.
John R. Hartman

cynicalbrat79
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I had terrible tomatoes last year, not hot enough in Chicago of all places. As for years past, the best all around tomatoe for "raw" eating is a beefsteak. Good in salad, on a sandwich, or on a cracker with some fresh mozzerella or other tasty cheese. They typically taste like a tomatoe should, like a good plant smells. If you have the patience, I find grape tomatoes are great for salsa and brushetta. They are a pain to cut up, but they are sweeter and more flavorful than a bigger tomatoe, not as much jiggle in the inside, are sized right for a chunky dip, and also great in green and pasta salads. For sauces, go with the Roma. I have nothing against the others, because all tomatoes are delicious, but the aboves are my favorites.

GardenJester
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I hear Brandywine is great for slicing. Gold Sun is pretty good cherry tomato, Yellow Pear is also pretty good. I'm gonna put it to the test this year, I'm planting Brandywine and Yellow Pears.

tedln
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GardenJester wrote:I hear Brandywine is great for slicing. Gold Sun is pretty good cherry tomato, Yellow Pear is also pretty good. I'm gonna put it to the test this year, I'm planting Brandywine and Yellow Pears.
What zone do you live in? I am also planting some Brandywine tomatoes, but have been told they may not hold up well to my zone 7 high summer temps. I planted them anyhow and will know by the end of summer if they can't take the heat. I will also know if they are a great tasting tomato as reported and if they are low producers or high producers. I've heard it both ways.

The really interesting thing I've noticed about them is the fact that they grow like they are competing in the Indy 500 race. They started growing the moment the seed germinated. While some of my other varieties struggled to survive and grow.

Ted
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GardenJester
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Zone 5, just north of Pittsburgh. My Brandywine are still in 4" pots, not ready to transplant for at least another 2 weeks. I haven't noticed particularly fast growth, if anything the Yellow Pears I planted about 2 weeks later is catching up pretty fast to the Brandywines. We can compare notes, thou I suspect you will be eating Brandywines long before I do. :P

garden5
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I've hear some people say that you do not get a good yield from brandywines and I've heard others say that's not necessarily true. I'll be growing some this year to see how they do for myself.
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tedln
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I understand there are about five different Brandywine strains. I bought my seeds from Pinetree seeds and believe they are the Sudduth strain which is supposedly the original strain dating back to the late 1800's first introduced by the Sudduth family.

I would think with that many varieties or strains, you could have different growth rates, production, and taste. That could account for the various opinions people have about them. Everyone thinks they are growing the same tomato but they aren't. Mine are potato leaf, and I think some strains are regular leaf.

Carolyn Male, who I consider the authority on tomatoes; made this statement back in 2007 concerning the Brandywine.

I grew many different accessions of so called Brandywine and often say I was Prez of the anti-Brandywine Association of the US. LOL It wasn't until Craig sent me the Sudduth/Quisenberry strain that I had good luck with my Brandywine growing."

I guess I will just wait and see what mine do.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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BrianSkilton
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Yellow and Pink Brandywine have very good flavor. I have tried a few hybrids but none that I have tried had any flavor. Try Amana Orange, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Costoluto Fiorentino. I don't know if you can find any heirmlooms at garden centers, however last year I did find a few in my area.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
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