Costoluto Genovese cleaning-GRRRRRR!

sundrops(Z6 SW Indiana)August 1, 2011

Well, I read on this forum that Costolutive Genovese was the absolute best tomato for sauce. So, I have 10 plants that are full of tomatoes just waiting to be canned.

What a pain to skin! I started yesterday and became disgusted very quickly. They are neat tomatoes and are very tasty but I have found a couple of things that are tempting me to pull up all 10 plants!

Number one, they become blemished and will rot very easily. I'm talking about going bad within a day or so just sitting on the counter in the house. Because I work full time it is sometimes difficult to can them the very day I pick. I try to save them by bringing them in the house on the cool counter but they don't seem to last like other tomatoes.

Number two, they are so wrinkled on the bottom it is almost impossible to clean and skin them. For those unfamiliar, look up a google image of them. It seemed as though I lost at least 30% of the tomato once I had them cleaned.

I am not convinced they are going to be worth the effort. Is there anyone out there that can help me feel better about this? For those who use them, is there a better way?


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

First, how are you peeling them? That can make a big difference.

Alternatively, core and freeze them in a big ziplock bag until you have the time and enough of them to deal with. When thawed the skins slip right off.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 5:00PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

If you're making sauce, why are you peeling them? Heat them and run the whole thing through a food mill; seeds and skin come out and you have clean puree to season or not as you wish, to can as is or cook down as you wish.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 6:05AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


I take laceyvail's approach to bumpy, lumpy, wrinkly, and otherwise tricky-to-peel heirloom tomatoes: just quarter them and cook, then run through a food mill, which leaves behind the peel and most seeds.

I grow dozens of different kinds of tomatoes, and when I pick I sort: I use the nice, smooth, easy-peel kinds (roma types and a few heirlooms like Red Brandywine) for salsa, crushed tomatoes and whole tomatoes---things that aren't going to be puree'd so need to be peeled & cored before cooking.

Then anything hard to peel goes into a big pot just quartered, for sauce.

I haven't grown Costolute Genovese, but I have similar grumbles about trying to peel catfacing-prone Black Krim, huge but wrinkly and tending-to-split Sicilian Saucer, and plenty of others.

My sauce pot can also include tomatoes that are too SMALL to be worth peeling---if I have more cherries to harvest one day than I will use for fresh eating, and I don't feel like drying them.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:03PM
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sundrops(Z6 SW Indiana)

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Normally I would run them through my Victoria but because the bottoms has really deep, cave like cavities I don't feel they are clean enough to do that. They definately require the cutting out of the cavities due to dirt and bad spots. I was trying to scald them and peel but it is difficult.

I guess I will try to quarter them, cut the bad spots and cavities and then run them through the Victoria.

I like them but they are quite a pain.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:28AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


I haven't grown CG, but from the photos I've seen they sure look to be exceptionally wrinkly/cave-y, even compared to the "uglier" heirlooms I have grown! Good luck with them.

Luckily, any little bits of remaining garden dirt will be sanitized away by the cooking & canning heat.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 2:24PM
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growing them for the first time this year as well and have not thought that far ahead as I have not had any ripe CG to sample yet here in the northeast(sigh). Happy to hear a positive review about the taste though.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:25PM
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I'm assuming this thread is pretty dead at this point, but i grew Costoluto Genovese last summer (2012) for the first time and was completely blown away by this plant. it grew like crazy, produced tons of gorgeous delicious fruit, and found that it was great for both eating fresh as well as sauce.

i'm with the other posters on this thread: use a food mill! i remember peeling tomatoes of any variety before i bought a food mill...never. again. i'll core them before i throw them in a pot, but after they've been cooked to where they're starting to break down, I just run everythign through the food mill and problem solved.

I think the outcome of growing this tomato is extremely localized; after reading posts from people all over the country, some people had great success, others not so much. I'm in upstate NY and my fruit grew big, juicy, flavorful and kept for at least a week if not more once it was picked. i was shocked to hear some people thought the flavor was awful; it was hollow inside; grew small fruit...i didn't experience any of those problems and am looking forward to growing them again this year!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:40AM
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