Brown Tomatoes


No, this isn’t a disease thread. I’m talking about varieties that produce brown tomatoes.

I’m a novice tomato grower. I have 3 plants this year: Early Girl, Cherokee Purple, and Chocolate Sprinkles cherry tomato.

I’m super impressed with the taste of the Chocolate Sprinkles tomato. It tastes like the Kumato tomatoes from the grocery store, but better. Early Girl is producing tomatoes that taste OK, but I don’t know that I would plant it next year ( I think it produces better quality fruit in a hotter climate). Cherokee Purple has set on fruit but it’s not ripe yet, so I don’t know how I will like that one.

But my question is, since I like the brown tomatoes so much, is there a brown slicing tomato that tastes like the Chocolate Sprinkles cherry tomato?


I don’t know of a brown tomato that fits your description, however, the flavor profile you are describing is generally called “earthy” and “rich/intense”. Cherokee Purple is a superb flavored tomato with these characteristics. Please consider trying Black From Tula and Black Krim for a couple that should be very good to your taste buds.

Check out Tatiana’s database for some interesting comparison of varieties.


Black Brandywine has been a good producer for me in my location. With warm/hot and humid summers, dark large tomatoes have been mostly a bust, but black bw has done well. And unlike most Brandywines, is a much better producer.

For dark cherry tomatoes, Chocolate Cherry is probably my favorite, great flavor, and good production and disease resistance. I’m growing it this year (6th year), plus I’m also trying Black Cherry for the first time.


@CA_Poppy We have grown Paul Robeson, Black Japanese Trifele, Brad’s Black Oxheart (selection of Black Krim), and Ananas Noir (sometimes called “Black Pineapple”), all with great success. Each of them has been better-tasting than any of our non-black varieties that we have grown. They all have the advantage of ripening well in cool summers too, mostly Russian varieties. I love the flavor of these rich tomatoes!


Interesting history, black tomatoes appear first in the literature with a variety named “Fiji” from about 100 years ago. By some quirk, they wound up in the USSR from which seed were then returned to the U.S.

Cherokee Purple’s history appears to be separate from both Fiji and the USSR derived dark varieties.


The tastier brown, and one of the tastiest overall for me has been Thornburn’s Terracotta. I’ve found them an early producer but not the hardiest or most productive. Still worth the garden space since they are so good.


The only place I’ve seen those were in my Baker Creek seed catalogs, is that where you got yours? It sounds intriguing.


I don’t have sprouting space but a friend does and I get my tomatoes from him. I’m pretty sure he did get it from them. (As well as a few other things) It’s a heirloom but doesn’t produce much seed.
They are so tasty, I put them at our #2 overall. Mennonite orange is #1.


Okay. I remember them being pretty expensive, like 10 seeds are $5. Don’t think I’ve heard of Mennonite Orange, will look into that. We really like orange/yellow tomatoes. Orange Kentucky beefsteak is prob our favorite of those. Jaune Flamme is a good large cherry orange tom, too. Other yellow varieties we’ve planted are Kellogg’s Breakfast (first time), Hillbilly (striped, but mostly yellow), and Azoychka.

Being in Ontario, when do y’all usually plant out your tomatoes? Because of late freezes, we have been putting ours out in late May/early June. Ours are just now setting some fruit, despite the brutal heat lately (90s most of the last two weeks).


This year the tomatoes went out very late. I think it was last week of May. We’d had issues with getting the seedlings due to quarantine and then there was that late bout of freezing.
As of now, my plants are huge with lots of set fruit. Nothing turning yet, but it is often beginning of august before we see red. I have rainbarrelsso have been watering through the heat and drought.
The MO is rare to find to buy. They have almost no seed so while a heirloom they are not easy to share.
My friend has been keeping his line for 15+ years. I take every seedling he offers.


Has anybody tried chocolate cherry? This is my first year with them, and they are blooming now. We did like cherokee purple, same sort of earthy flavour mentioned as on the seed packet for chocolate cherry. Any suggestions too? We are on the north shore of PEI, coastal Canada.


Oh yeah. It may be our favourite, and it’s been a consistent producer with good disease resistance. We’ve been here for about 7 years, and have grown it 6 of those. Its flavor is complex, tart, yet sweet and smoky. The plants sometimes get huge (<6ft), which seems to be the case with cherry tomatoes.

Our luck with larger dark tomatoes have been mostly a bust, but black Brandywine has done well. We’re trying Black Cherry for the first time this year, we have two plants of those, have heard good things about it, but it’d have to be pretty good to pass CC.


Ah, that’s good to hear. I’m in the middle of a seed potato growing area, so disease resistance is good neighbour stuff here. I like complex flavours, and Hubby is sort of getting used to them, grin. I’ve been playing with defiant, and concentrating the disease resistance it has, to late blight. One year I crossed in cherokee purple, and the semi determinant ones were all crosses. Nice flavour too. I keep some pure defiants too. We have the CC on ladders, so they can get as big as they like:) Mind you, I probably have a lot less frost free days than you.


Is that a tomato variety? I’ve never heard of it. From the name maybe it’s a disease resistant hybrid?

Good luck with your CC, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Ours are starting to set some fruit already, we just planted them about 6 weeks ago. Some of our other plants are about 4ft now.


yah, defiant is resistant to late blight. We have bloom just starting on the CC, so it will be a little while.
many of the heirloom tomatoes have been a source of blight resistance. matts wild cherry comes to mind, carries PH2, and it can be bred into whatever other ones you like. There is a list somewhere of what genes have been noticed in which heirlooms, and they cross in easily.


Any photos of those brown tomatos?


remind me in 6 weeks and I’ll post some:)


Here you go, chocolate cherry, one nice and even, one a bit splotchy.


Congrats, are there more on your plants? What is that green fruit that looks like a long green acorn? Is it some kind of tomatillo?


Yes, there are lots more fruits, most are green yet. The acorn looking fruits…are acorns. grin. There is a chestnut bur too. A big storm is forecast for later today, so I picked lots of stuff while it was still nice.