SSE Staff Pick Their Favorite Tomato Varieties
Last week I sent an email out to all the Seed Savers Exchange staffers, asking them for their favorite tomato variety. We have literally thousands of tomato varieties to choose from here, we grow and taste hundreds every year, so if a staffer is picking one as their favorite, you know it has to be good!
Katie, Kathy, and John all chose this bicolored fruit, which was the winner of the 2008 Tomato Tasting at Heritage Farm.
According to Katie, “It produced tons of large golden-yellow fruit. One slice covered a piece of bread (perfect for tomato sandwiches) and it tasted amazing.”
Kathy says, “I love the Gold Medal. The red & yellow marbling is gorgeous and the fruits are huge. The flavor is a nice balance of acid and sweet.”
John adds, “My favorite by far is Gold Medal. It can have a tendency to cracking, but the flavor is well worth any deficiencies the variety has. Low acid, high sugar and the color is an amazing Crayola yellow-red.”
Lou chose ‘Moonglow’: “...although it won the 2007 tasting, it is something of a secret. I tell our retailers about this gem. It has a great taste, always performs well in my garden ... resisting disease and with a great amount of fruit. Sometimes yellow tomatoes have less acid and I think that is the case with the Moonglow.”
According to Amy, “I first ordered 'Speckled Roman' from SSE in 2008, when I began market farming. I ordered it not only because it's beautiful but also because my grandfather's name was Roman. It turned out to be a reliable paste tomato; prolific, meaty, and flavorful. I've grown it ever since.”
Jeanine couldn’t pick just one. She says, “I always love this question and especially love reading people's answers because although I love growing tomatoes, I am still searching for the perfect one. I really like the German Pink and it is my favorite full-sized tomato so far because it is sweet, meaty, it slices well and rarely cracks on the vine.
However, the favorite to grow probably goes to Mexico Midget and Cherry Roma. I've noticed that in different years, the same variety can have different tastes, so I'd vote for one over the other depending on the year. In any given year, though, they have both been prolific growers and outgrow any blight my soil might have.
They also both have enough little tomatoes that I can plant one or two plants and harvest enough for a salad and snack every day of the summer. I like that I don't have to commit to eating or using a giant tomato either; I can just grab a handful as I go by.
Proud father Bill stated, “We grew Beam's Yellow Pear tomatoes last season and our daughter loved picking and eating them off the vine like candy. At age 3, she hasn't quite figured out the word "tomatoes" yet; she calls them "potatoes." But those yellow "potatoes" were mighty popular for us all!”
According to John, “My new favorite tomato is Nebraska Wedding, which we grew for the first time this year. Uniform baseball size fruit, a glowing orange slicer. This plant continued to produce well into late October when every other tomato variety had called it quits. So, as far as Nebraska Wedding goes, I say, ‘I do.’”
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization located in Decorah, Iowa, with a mission to conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.