Which Tomato Has The Best Taste In Alabama???

bulzi(8a)May 5, 2013

Every year I wonder which tomato taste the best..?.. Which plant do I buy...?. Around the world there appears to be hundreds, if not thousands of varieties of this delicious fruit.

Is the tomato, Black Cherry the very best or the best of that variety? Is it the Beef Steak, Homestead or Celebrity ?

Which is the best to fry green?

I LOVE tomatoes. Never found a bad ripe tomato yet. 'BUT', am I missing that perfect tasting tomato....?...

What variety is in your garden?

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I grew black cherry last year; I thought it was rather nasty.

Some people like mild tomatoes and some like tart and some like in between. Then there are slicers, beefsteak, paste and so forth. I don't think you can award a "best," because so many people like or want different things from a tomato.

My favorites are Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, German Striped, Gold Medal, and a tomato I am working on this is a mutated version of German Striped:)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:24PM
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There is bound to be one that is an all around favorite regardless of size ....for the taste only. Looked up the tomatoes you mentioned alabamaicole, Cherokee Purple 'looks' delicious.

Martha Stewart came out with Heirloom plant seeds for Kmart years ago and Brandywine was one that I did grow and enjoyed the taste....BUT....never grew it again.?.

Can you taste a difference between Heirloom and Hybrids . I have not until now put much thought in which is the BEST over all tomato to grow. Time is money and tomatoes are expensive. joseph is a miser with very limited income.

If I could zero in on at least four of the tried and true. Those will be the ones for me to plant next year and maybe this year. thanks

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I agree with alabamanicole that it would be very difficult to come to a consenses regarding "the best " tomato. Most claim that the heirlooms have the better flavor but that's not true for all of them.

Marglobe, for example, is often found for sale. It produces thick skinned, uniform tomatoes which are highly disease and insect resistant. They are also tasteless. Marglobe is the truck farmer's tomato.....easy to grow, ship, and store but lacking in flavor. My husband likes them because they grow without disease incidence of any kind and never the first aphid, whitefly or hornworn. I won't eat them, lol. Oh, Marglobe produces and produces huge numbers of tomatoes. He's had people at work ask him how many plants he grew that he was able to bring a bag to share (get rid of) every week. One plant!

You might want to visit the tomato forum, if you haven't already. Use the 'search ' using Best Tasting Tomatoes for tons of fun threads. Long discussions rating tomatoes occur each year.

I have grown the Celebrity hybrid a few times and found if to be a nice variety. Quite aromatic and flavorful for a hybrid.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:31AM
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Cherokee Purple has a remarkable complex flavor while balanced perfectly (IMO) between tart and sweet... when the weather cooperates. BUT: it is also usually not very productive and is very prone to cracking. It's a tomato you grow for the love of good tomatoes -- not one you grow for dependable steady production unless you have several plants.

Growing heirlooms is trendy right now, but heirlooms are a mixed bucket. Just because it's proven in to grow in somebody else's climate and soil and suits their tastes doesn't mean it's suited to you and your garden. Generally speaking, in No. AL I've had the best luck with old German and Appalachian varieties.

If you don't really know what you want from a tomato and just want dependable plants that are going to have a ripe fruit when you want a BLT, I'd stick with some tried and true southern favorites regardless of whether they are heirloom or hybrid like Better Boy, Brandywine or Yellow Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy or Sungold.

I hope other people chime in with their favorites, though! Tomatoes are the very best reason to garden. Not just for flavor, but when it comes to return on investment, tomatoes win over almost any other veggie.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:30AM
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I want a good tart tasting tomato for BLT's, salads and for just eating on the spot. The Cherokee Purple may be the 'one'. I do prefer Grapefruit over grape....But...it is all in the taste.

My brother said that a man he knows in NFlorida 'grafts' about a thousand tomatoes late winter/early spring for event sales. Could not imagine anyone doing this.....could this enhance and improve the Cherokee Purple to produce more ? Taste, over rides cracks any day.

I had rather have 'one' great tasting tomato than twenty that is bland. Thanks rhizo. If I give someone anything from the garden I want it to be the best. Have not thought about a tomato forum. I did run across a Dahlia forum that has loads of information from all over the world. Mostly interested in tomatoes grown by Alabamians for Alabama.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Today started out as usual. Rain. Took a trip to get bird seed for the feeders and yellow squash seeds.

Looking through the tomato plants at Walmart, there was an empty tray with a sign "Cherokee Purple". Bought a German Johnson and a German Queen. Then off to Lowes to look for the squash seeds. Found some very nice Cherokee Purple plants, plus a Mr. Stripey. My Dahlia bed has some real competition this year for space , but they know they will win out over my old taste buds.

rizho, went over to the Tomato Forum. Thank you for telling me about it. The post were from all over the world. Some very interesting tomato tales and hands on experiences. One post just for the Cherokee Purple. How to grow tomatoes in pot, instead of yard grown. Opinions of how the environment may affect the taste. I believe different soil types affect the taste in all garden produce.

This day was a good day. A very good day..........joseph

purpleinopp, p-l-e-a-s-e let up on the rain dancing for awhile.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Boy have you opened the door, lol! Just kidding, but you will get lots of comments for sure on the tomato forum, depending on where you live. My favorite is Cherokee Purple, hands down. But I grow 'Sun Sugar' (yellow cherry type) for salads and eating off the vine - pure delight and great production, and better than Sun Gold IMO because the skins are thinner. Also grow Sweet Million, Better Boy (another great slicing tomato even if a hybrid), and usually try some other variety. I like Lemon Boy and am trying German Stripe someone gave me this year. Never had much production out of Brandywines. I usually try a tomato at least 2 years before I give up. The only down side, if there is one, to CP is that they don't last as long off the vine as some others, but around here we either eat them, give them away or can/roast/freeze them before it matters.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:00PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

I have only grown a few varieties in my short number of years growing a veggie garden but of those few, German Queen blew me away as far as flavor for slicing. Disease took it quicker than my hybrids unfortunately. I couldn't find any GQ plants for sale last year but have found some this year so I'm trying it again. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Better Boys are still my go-to as far as production and relative disease hardiness.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:06PM
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I've grown heirloom tomatoes over the past few years (which is as long as I've been gardening). My favorite, bar none, was Black from Tula -- a black tomato that, when sliced open, is a thing of beauty. The taste is even better. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

I tend to strike out with brandywines. The get so big on the vine before they ripen, so by the time they're ready the've split open and the ants get at them. I'm trying a variety this year that is smaller.

The seed company sent me a free pack of Gypsy tomatoes this year. We'll see how those are.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 3:01PM
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These post replies are making it seem a best-est may not be.

It is WORSE than than trying to find the upper teeth of a cow. It is worse than trying to find that perfect tasting YOGURT. Try this one , then that one and low and behold another yogurt come along....etc .....German Queen....Black From Tula looks as good as it taste. (My favorite yogurt is at the moment Yoplait original strawberry. The only draw back I find with Yoplait is the odd shaped container......my tongue is not long enough to reach the bottom to totally clean it out.)

BLT's are just around the corner, that is, if you count your chickens before the eggs hatch. & I do.

A very Happy Mothers Day tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Brandywine, has been considered by many to be one of the best tasting tomatoes....In fact, I heard that it is not allowed to be entered in some tomato tasting contests anymore because it's won so many...Being an heirloom however, do not expect a large production, nor is it as disease resistant as the hybrids....I always plant extra plants to make up for the lack of production. ; ).....still, the best tasting tomato, when it comes right down to it, depends on personal taste!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:12AM
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I have to agree with MiKru's complaints about Brandywine -- they get so large so fast they crack and split. and even start to rot on the vine where the skin it opened. The deep color also seems to beckon thirsty birds to come and peck holes in tomorrow's perfect tomato. (A bird bath helps enormously.)

They are worth it from a taste perspective, IMO, but I wouldn't be inclined to recommend them to someone growing a single tomato plant who wants to keep themselves in fresh tomatoes all summer.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:31PM
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I haven't really had any problem with Brandywine cracking or splitting....Brandywine is ripe when it is a light pink color. A true Brandywine does not have a deep color at all!...The name is believed to come from some bridge in Pennsylvania, it is not an indication of the color of the tomato....that said....I concur that it is certainly NOT for someone growing a single tomato plant wanting lots of tomatoes.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:38AM
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bluesagewmn, is Brandywine your favorite for taste? Do you grow tomatoes?....joseph

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Got an unexpected visit today by a young lady (stopped to take pictures of bottle tree) conversation went to the tomatoes growing behind the tree. Her favorite, with no hesitation was Cherokee Chocolate . She said that her grandmother got her into gardening growing up and that it was also her grandmothers favorite. If she does what she said, I will be growing another tomato plant soon. Can't wait.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:49PM
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bulzi-I think I am going to have to plant me a bottle tree. I started one but forgot to water and give it some Blac-cow. Nothing grows right without a little love and care.
I planted 6 or 7 different tomatoes last year. The one that tasted best was Early Girl.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Haha, plantman. I planted a bottle tree this year, I just haven't put anything on it yet. I haven't decided if I should let my guests decorate it at my next BBQ or if I want to find some little tiny bottles for it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 2:22PM
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I can't say I've tried a ton of varieties, but I like 'Cherokee Purple' and 'Black Cherry' a lot. I had a prolific tomato garden one year, but it was located on the far edge of my property (only large spot that gets lots of sun), and it was too easy for me to neglect it when I came home from work tired. So now I have a smaller tomato garden right next to my driveway that's very easy to water and maintain quickly. This year I'm trying a mix of hybrids and heirlooms to hopefully increase my production.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Tomato taste.....going back to 2005, GW search for Alabamians and what their taste buds say are the best tomatoes.

All thru the posts that I have read...."RAIN and OVER WATERING may make a HUGE difference in how your tomato taste. It was reported over and over that because of so much (2005) that Cherokee Purple, Brandywine....etc. was not as good as last year. I read no post on how much watering is too much watering- - - yet. I do recall a local sometime ago saying that her son told her NOT to water her tomatoes at all. He had planted them just off the drip line of the house and that she did not need to water. Was her age a factor....?...

If water is a taste factor, fertilizer....ph and who knows what else could be a factor.

I do think that Alabama might be one of the top 10 states that love tomatoes, but no where close to being #1. This assumption solely from reading post from the GW, spanning over only a few years thus far.

So far the " original " Homestead, Cherokee Purple , Brandywine ;;;; Sungold and Black Cherry are "each" highly prized as being the best.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Mikru,I sat out on a hunting trip this morning to Pepper Place for some fig bushes and the "Black from Tula" no luck on finding either , but Petals said that they would be glad to bring me the Figs.

Does anyone around Birmingaham know where I might find TULA.

I did bag something at Pepper Place that I was NOT hunting for...Belle Etoile Mock Orange, I will size up and plant it this winter.....nice size flower.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Bulzi -- if you want to send me your address, I'll gladly send you some Tula seeds.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Could not thank you enough. Could I send anything in return. Would love too.

Will I be able to plant now, or should I wait till spring 2014?

I do appreciate your kind offer so very much, but if time is a factor now for planting....??...could you also send the name of the catalog that you order them from.

May have time for late garden.....?

This post was edited by bulzi on Sat, Jun 1, 13 at 1:19

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:59PM
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I'll pop them in the mailbox tomorrow.

Planting how should give you a late August/early September harvest -- it won't be as prolific as a summer harvest, but I usually plant about about now for fall tomatoes and I get a fair share. Your only problem is going to be bugs and pests in August. And they can be a real problem.

The seeds came from here:


    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Mike, received the Black from Tula seeds today. ..Thank you ever so much. 50 + seeds. I have them in planter and will share with friends.

Hope they live up to the description you have given them. If ever you read that I have something of interest here on the GW, let me know.

Again , thank you. ...joseph

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:41PM
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Glad they made it -- I hope they live up to the description too!

Google around a bit on when to harvest them -- they'll still have a bit of green on top when ripe.

One nice thing about black tomatoes: birds don't seem to notice them.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Pink Brandywine.
Cherokee Purple.
Orange Kentucky Beefsteak
Kelloggs Breakfast Beefsteak (Orange)
Aunt Ruby's German Green Beefsteak
Red Brandywine (Landis Valley Strain)
White Queen
Black Krim

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:24PM
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Gosh, there really is NO END in sight for the very best.

Tomatoes from Russia, Germany, tomatoes of every color in the Rainbow + black and white.

We have Kings and Queens of Tomatoes.....but ya know, Cherokee Purple is hanging in there.

Now we have a Kelloggs Breakfast.....would you ever...?.....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:45PM
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