Are there any tomatoes that retain the shape, color, and productivity but taste better?
AFAIK, no. Given the thousands of wonderful tomato varieties out there, yellow pear is WAY down the list. Even if one is only interested in cherry-types, yellow pear is WAY down the list of cherry tomatoes.
If you are just looking for one that shape and color 'Yellow Submarine' is better tasting than standard 'yellow pear'.
It did not seem to get the mealiness that Yellow Pear often has.
Yellow Submarine is a decent flavored yellow pear shaped tomato, but IMO, really good flavored yellow tomatoes are few and far between.
One of those really odd things I would like to do is to cross Yellow Pear with Ildi and segregate out a multiflora Yellow Pear. Then cross that with Reisetomate and get a thing that looks like a clump of yellow light bulbs.
LOL, and that would be three DarJones!
fantastic taste, high yield
Another one to consider is Medovaya Kaplya. Almost pear shaped but elongated so that the fruits look like wee purses tied at the top. And the taste is pretty darn good.
It's indeterminate and PL ( potato leaved) to boot. I like PL varieties.
Link to Tania's tomato base below and already a couple of places are listing it for 2012 and I think Gleckler's will do so as well, and perhaps others.
Not all seed websites have yet been updated and not all 2012 Catlaogs yet received so Tatiana can't update 2012 seed sources until that happens.
Here is a link that might be useful: Medovaya Kaplya
get a thing that looks like a clump of yellow light bulbs...Yes, I consider growing Yellow Pear cult a waste of garden space, unless grown for reasons that may satisfy some nostalgic memories. Now, except for those vended for purposes of ornamentation, where are yellow incandescent light bulbs being offered nowadays ?
SSE catalog says Beam's Yellow Pear won out over 24 other Yellow Pear varieties when they did a comparison in 1998. They may have been rating other qualities besides taste, although they say it has great flavor. That's just what I read; haven't tried it yet.
I grew Medovaya Kaplya this past summer with outstanding results. Large, healthy plant that was the last to die (out of 18 other varieties). Looks just like yellow pear, at least close enough for the novelty factor.
The biggest surprise was the flavor. Absolutely outstanding! The yields was also fantastic. This will definitely be a mainstay in my future plantings (Along side my Brandy Sweets, Those were pretty good too).
I cannot find any faults with these tomatoes and I am absolutely positive that they will replace Yellow Pear.