What’s your favorite slicing tomato with deep, complex taste with fair amount of acid and that has decent disease resistance?
I’m getting serious about growing a few tomatoes this year. When I was a kid it was my job to tend our Rutgers tomatoes. We saved seed year to year. I read that some of the new hybrids lack the deep tomato complexity I’m after.
I hear good things about Carbon Cherokee and Pineapple. Anyone grow them?
Yes I’ve grown both of those. In my experience (I feed my plants!) Pineapple is a meaty, wonderful fruity tasting tomato that can get quite large. Persimmon is another to consider. For dark tomatoes with red wine overtones the Carbon Cherokee is ok, the original Cherokee Purple is better, but (again in my opinion) the Paul Robeson beats them all.
I tried for three growing seasons, I could never get it to produce much, and the fruit it did grow was no larger than a golf ball. Haven’t tried Carbon Cherokee. C Purple was pretty good, but not much of a producer the couple years we grew it. But, our luck with purple toms hasn’t been the best, but I’m still learning.
Of all the dark tomatoes we’ve tried, Paul Robeson has been the better performer, with good flavor.
Our best slicing tom has been Orange Kentucky Beefsteak, it has pretty good flavor, maybe a bit more sweet than tart, good production and decent disease resistance. Gordost Sibiri, a pink tom, has had similar attributes, maybe a better flavor balance.
I grow around 30-50 tomato varieties every year and switch the varieties up annually.
I’m not sure about disease resistance but Purple Cherokee is my favorite tomato hands down. I grow more of these than any other every year - and I don’t even really like tomatoes. Based on flavor alone.
Another favorite for slicing, based on flavor alone, is Black Beauty, again appeals to me even though I don’t really like tomatoes. These two make a great caprese salad
I tried Paul Robeson a year ago and I didn’t like the taste compared to the above two (I’m really not a big fan of raw tomatoes, even though I grow so many of them!) I’m trying it again this year, maybe it wasn’t pure seed.
Nope. Maybe one day. I just grow unreasonable amounts of food but mainly only because I like to try so many different varieties Cherokee Purple will definitely give you that perfect BLT, as long as you don’t mind it not being red. Raw salsa with it is also the best I’ve made compared to when I used other varieties. Every time I grow many types I always tell myself why didn’t I just grow more Purple Cherokee lol For me, these also had more slug damage than any other variety, they too know a good tomato! I know I’m selling these hard, I just like what I like
I have grown my toms in four different plots over the last four years. We’ve had varying results because of poor soil, deer raids, too much rain, which causes disease, etc. So, its been frustrating trying to find out what works in our environment. I have made efforts to rectify the soil and deer issues, but obviously have no control on the weather. I try to mitigate that with copious mulching.
Those two I mentioned have been consistently good in all aspects, along with Chocolate Cherry, which obviously isn’t a slicer, but it does have that complex flavor profile that a dark tom has- tart, smokey even a little sweetness. Siberian Pink Honey is an oxheart tomato that’s done well for us also.
Brandywine has been a vigorous and disease resistant grower for me, I’ve grown pink, yellow and black. The black produced OK, but the other two types were very stingy bearers. Yellow BW tastes great, but with only 10 or so fruit per plant, it lost its spot in our garden.
Hopefully this year with all these changes, we might be able to finally get a good evaluation of our best performers. I also need to stop trying so many varieties, I did 33 two years ago! Never again. I’m about to start my indoor toms and other veggies soon, and will probably keep it down to 15.
I like Golden Jubilee, Great White, and Roma / San Marzano type tomatoes. The Roma type tomatoes are my favourite for flavour, Great White and Golden Jubilee have good flavour too and better disease resistance in my area (mid atlantic / east coast). I’m not a fan of black / purple varieties or the supermarket greenhouse varieties. The supermarket varieties are flavourless. The black and purple varieties (Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Indigo Rose) all seem particularly susceptible to fusarium wilt. Maybe they prefer a drier or cooler climate - idk.
Grow tomatoes the way you choose to. Raised beds work. Rows work. The only thing I suggest that is specific is to get them up off the ground either with a trellis or stakes.
I’ve grown maybe 1500 varieties of tomatoes. There are a few that consistently taste good year after year.
Druzba - large red slicer
Kelloggs Breakfast - Orange slicer
Cherokee Purple - Dark fruit in the purple/green group with excellent flavor and disease resistance
Brandywine, Sudduth - Large boat shaped pink potato leaf
Eva Purple Ball - very productive tomato in the 2.5 to 3 inch range
Green Giant - large green when ripe slilcer
Picardy - an outstanding canning tomato
Heidi - a determinate roma type that performs very well in the heat
Sungold - hybrid orange cherry tomato with unique sweet flavor
Bear Creek - among the best of the black tomatoes
Costoluto Genovese - drying tomato, overwhelming flavor
Box Car Willie - for an all around balanced flavor red slicer
I was completely disappointed by Paul Roebson when I planted it couple of years back. Cherokee Purple was much much better. Paul Roebson on the other hand was very bland. May be it is not for the North East. Note that my tomato growing conditions are generally very good and I typically get very tasty tomatoes.
I have been growing tomatoes for the past six years in Wilmington, Delaware. Every year I grow 10-18 plants including a few new varieties. My favorites for slicing are:
Beefsteak (just beefsteak with no other words)
In my experience, working the soil and fertilizing are important. Also plenty of sun and frugal watering (I use a soil moisture meter, and water only when the moisture level is low). Finally, leave your tomatoes on the plants several days after they become fully red/purple. My tomatoes are generally very tasty, with friends often saying it is the best tomatoes they have ever tasted.