Stupice seeds from neighbor, heirloom from Czechoslovakia
Oh dear, I should have started this list earlier, I can't remember what other people listed. I've looked back on 10 pages of comments but found no recommendations. Please add to the list if you desire, and happy gardening.
Dallas Gaythiest = the edible kind. : )
For what its worth, I think Cherokee Black is the same as Cherokee purple, and very similar to Black Krim.
I"m also trying some Romas this year for cooking, never did that before. Also growing some Sungold - it didn't do great for me a few years ago, but so many people think it's the best tomato ever, especially cherry tomatoes. So another try.
People swear by Brandywine but it doesn't do well in my yard - excellent flavor but one or 2 tomatoes per plant.
If I could only grow one a year, I would alternate lemon boy, supersweet100, and Better boy. They are all very productive for me as well as being tasty.
I had Sungold two years ago and loved it but didn't plant it last year and missed it. So I went on the search for Sungold plants this year ... since I was too tired to start my own.
Brandywine has a wonderful flavor but my season is way too short for it. One year I planted it on June 15 and had a killing freeze on June 16. Had a devil of a time finding another. When harvest time came, I was out at night in the cold picking green tomatoes because a freeze was forecast. I had 15 bushels of green tomatoes to store in my too warm basement. Needless to say, we had our fill of green tomato pie and pickles. Some ripened OK, but they became leathery and lost flavor
Joan, I've never heard of green tomato pie.
The difference between a locally grown heirloom tomato and the mass produced one is pretty obvious to anyone with a palette — but amongst the infinite variation of different varieties of a fruit, is there something you can link directly to deliciousness?
There should be a language of tomato tasting, like there is for wine and olive oil. "This tomato has the flavor of burgundy and mulberry, with hints of basil and a wafting of sea air" (Cherokee Black) or "This tomato is redolent of sprightly citrus" (Lemon Boy). "This tomato's sweetness and acidity are perfectly balanced, with an unpretentious flavor that says, simply, tomatoes, perfectly sliced with an hint of salt on a red checkered table cloth under the oak tree" (Better Boy).
Most of the heirlooms seem to require longer hotter days than I have. Even so, a home grown organic tomato is so much better than even the supposedly organic heirloom ones at the grocery store. More juicy, more sweet, more acid, more flavor. To me, there seems to be a connection between color (yellow is less complex, black is more earthy and "rich", and red is more "classic". That may be me fooling myself based on the appearance).
No, I doubt you're fooling yourself. Pigment can affect flavor, or perhaps be an indication of flavor.
Okay, my grape tomato plant has one tomato that has gone from green to light orange. When do I pick it? The others are still green.
Eat it and if it tastes good, eat the others at that color. If you have to spit it out, let the others ripen to a different color.
There are yellow grape tomatoes and red grape tomatoes. I haven't seen an orange one. Never know. Fully ripe ones lose some hardness, so if you squeeze gently and it gives a little instead of being rock hard, that can help.
Dallas, I've read that you can pick a tomato just as it starts to turn color. I have been doing this with mine so that I do not have too many ripe tomato's all at once, I do not refrigerate my tomato's either I just leave them in a bowl on the counter covered by a light cloth. I have about 30 tomato plants all bearing ready tomato's right now.
A fave of mine is Green Zebra. Light tasting, very sweet though I must say it is odd to eat a green tomato and find it so sweet and juicy. All time favorite is the Lemon Boy and I also have an Amsterdam which produces an egg or grape tomato. I absolutely love the flavor of these. Of course any black tomato is also my favorite too!
Thanks Sandi, and everyone else. Yes, that's what I was trying to express -- do I let it ripen on the vine or pick it now. It's turning a deeper orange, so I think I may pick it today or tomorrow and then leave it on the counter another day, perhaps. I haven't squeezed it yet to see what it feels like.