Tomato Tasting Awards

A New Tomato Champion

The results are in! The following tomatoes received the most votes at Seed Savers Exchange's 7th Annual Tomato Tasting and Seed Saving Workshop:

  1. Italian Heirloom
  2. Dester
  3. Igleheart Yellow German Cocktail, Tiny Tim Yellow (tie)

The 'Italian Heirloom' is a variety you can find in our public catalog and online store. As described in our catalog, it is an "outstanding heirloom from Italy. Plants are loaded with red fruits weighing over a pound. One of the most productive varieties we have grown at Heritage Farm. Excellent full tomato flavor. Ideal for slicing and canning—very little waste and easy to peel."

Italian Heirloom

Our nearly 700 tomato tasters agreed that this an excellent tomato!


Last year's champion proved that its victory was no fluke. 'Dester' tomato was the second favorite at this year's tasting. The ‘Dester’ is a large, full-flavored, pink beefsteak tomato, and can currently be found as part of our Heirloom Tomato Collection or sold as single packets here.

Third place was awarded to two tomatoes—'Igleheart Yellow German Cocktail' and 'Tiny Tim Yellow'. These varieties are not available commercially, but are part of our seed collection. They have been offered in our members-only seed exchange (what we refer to as our Yearbook) in the past, and should be available next year again. For more information on membership, our seed exchange, and the nearly 13,000 varieties offered in the Yearbook, visit our membership page.

This year, we had a record number of samples for folks to try - over 80 different open-pollinated tomato varieties were present. In addition to the top four competitors, other tomatoes with a strong showing included 'Lemon Drop', 'Mexico Midget', 'Brandywine (Sudduth's Strain)', and 'Black Sea Man'.

Salsa Recipes

Congratulations as well to Becky Hoff, who won this year's Salsa Contest with her 'Brandywine Tomato Salsa'. For the winning recipe, as well as recipes from other salsa contestants (including the runner-up 'Trial & Error Yellow Tomato Salsa'), visit the Oneota Community Food Co-op's contest site.

Thanks so much to the Co-op for sponsoring the Salsa Contest. Thanks also to local musicians Michelle Lynn and Adam Ptacek for coming out and playing some music!

If you didn't make it this year, keep us in mind for 2013. The event will be held over Labor Day weekend, Saturday, August 31, 2013.