2012 tomato trials
I finally ripped out the rest of my tomatoes this week - late blight and/or some other fungal issue has pretty much put paid to the vines and I think our warm, sunny vine-ripening weather is about to be a thing of the past :-)
So my big experiment was to try a bunch of different cherry tomatoes, which IME have a better chance of ripening in our iffy tomato climate than do many other varieties. Plus I just like the "tomato candy" sweetness of most cherry types. I tried 'Sungold', 'Isis Candy', 'Italian Ice' and 'Red Lightning'. I will admit I was swayed by the PR when I was reading up on these for sign writing purposes for my nursery, as 'Sungold' was really the only variety I had any experience with. Italian Ice is a pure white cherry that looked gorgeous in the photos, Isis Candy was supposed to give Sungold a run for its money in sweetness and Red Lightning.....well, the descriptors were "irresistable flavor and electric coloring".
Next year I am only planting Sungold. It matured the earliest, produced the biggest crop and had no disease issues. It also tasted the best by a large margin.
The Isis Candy tasted nothing like the Sungolds - no sweet, tomato candy flavor. Kinda mushy and tasteless in comparison. Produced quite well though. The Italian Ice were all show and no go. A very pale, greenish-white (I am reluctant to use the term 'pure') tomato that tastes just how you'd think a white tomato might taste.......more or less no taste at all. And the Red Lightnings were a big dud - not a single ripe fruit on the plant before disease wiped them out. So no confirmation on the flavor & coloring hype. And I'm not sure how this ever got categorized as a cherry.......unless one is used to plum-sized cherries.
I did enjoy the Sungolds and picked enough to share with family. And the Isis was OK if used in salads or sauteed - just not so great for out of hand. And I have lots of green fruit to make pickles with and it really doesn't matter what they taste like for those to turn out great.
FYI, the tomato taste-off results here at the nursery placed Matina in the winners' seat for the second year in a row and Sungold the winner in the cherry/grape division.