Saturday, September 13, 2008

White Tomatoes?

I have been gardening for most of my adult life and my favorite thing to grow has always been tomatoes. A few years ago I began playing with heirloom tomatoes that ripen in colors other than red. I've always known there were yellow tomatoes and orange tomatoes, and last year I discovered black tomatoes and tomatoes that stay green when ripe. This year's new tomato color is White. This Spring when I wrote about the whitest of white tomatoes called White Tomesol there was quite a bit of interest. I think I even helped Baker Creek Seeds sell out of them. Not many places sell these seeds but I was still able to get some. I grew White Tomesol and Great White this year, and they are indeed pretty white.

As usual when I try a new color of tomato, I'm never quite sure when to pick them. I think I harvested some of them a bit early because when sliced they still had a bit of green color to them.

The flavor seems to be the same no matter how ripe they are. So what about the flavor? A little different from "red" tomatoes but not as unusual as I expected. The seed catalogs tout them as tropical tasting. I expected these white tomatoes to taste more like melon than the Kentucky Beefsteaks. Here's the odd thing; eating a whole white tomato slice tastes pretty much like a tomato, but if I take a bite out of the meaty part only - that is where the unique taste occurs. It took me a while to figure this out. Take away the gel and seed part and the meaty tomato part tastes kind of nutty and not at all like a tomato. As an entire package however, you are back to tasting like a tomato. strange.

There isn't a big difference in taste between White Tomesol and Great White, but the color of Great White is a bit more of a cream color.

If you are looking for a true white color tomato, White Tomesol is the one for you.

As for me and my family, the verdict is still out for whether or not we want to add white tomatoes to our permanent list. They are pretty cool and a great novelty, but maybe just maybe they are a little too weird for even me. After eating a few more it is possible that they will win me over. We'll see.

Do you think white tomatoes are too weird? Have you ever eaten one? I'm sure there is a better description of the flavor than I have given. I'd love to know what everyone thinks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tomatoes Galore and introducing Ky Beefsteak!

Wow have I been busy lately! I'm sorry that I haven't had enough time to post regularly. Its certainly not because I don't have anything to write about. The garden this year has done wonderfully! August has been the month of the tomato, and September promises to be as well.

We are now harvesting all of our tomato varieties. Many of them are heirlooms and they come in all different colors. My favorites continue to be Black Krim, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Brandywine Red and/or Pink and Kellogg's Breakfast Orange. I plan to post individually about each of these and about my new white varieties, Great White and White Tomesol.

Today's post is to introduce another orange tomato variety - Kentucky Beefsteak.

It is an heirloom that originates from the hills of Eastern Kentucky and it produces pretty big fruit. This one matches my big Brandywine at 1.8 pounds.

The reason I want to share Kentucky Beefsteak with you is because it is the most unique tasting tomato I have ever tried. I like it but it doesn't really taste like a tomato. This sounds strange but it almost tastes like a watermelon or cantaloupe. Even with its odd taste, it does pass my BLT test. You can't even see the bread under that giant tomato slice!

I guess It resembles a melon because it has an incredible water content. The meat part of the tomato is by far the juiciest I've seen. You can see the water content glistening in this closeup of the tomato slices:

It sure looks pretty but I'm not sure if it will make the cut next year. Each plant only produced a couple fruits and my family isn't eating them. I like them and I do live in Kentucky, so maybe they will make next year's team. We'll just have to see. Has anyone else grown or eaten these heirloom Kentucky Beefsteak tomatoes? If so, I'd love to know what you thought of them.

More talk of odd tomatoes to come soon!

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