People don't like Heirlooms?

gardenmommy_2010August 7, 2011

So, I've planted mostly heirlooms this year - ranging from the traditional reds & pinks to some black, gwr, yellow, orange & bicolor varieties and have really been looking forward to trying them all. My first "non-traditional" tomato to ripen was Black Prince which I really like. However, my family tried it this week & no one has liked it, stating it doesn't taste like a tomato. Does anyone else find that many people prefer the Safeway/Raleys thick-skinned rubber tomato, stating that the heirloom tomatoes don't taste like tomatoes? Once all my varieties are ripening I want to do a blindfolded taste test. MIL asked FIL if he likes tomatoes that look like Black Prince - hadn't even tasted it yet. The ones they've liked are Big Beef, Celebrity, Moskvich, Burgandy Traveler (all reds) and Sungold of course.

I'm also growing ARGG, Orange Russian 117, Orange Strawberry, Black Krim, Kelloggs Breakfast, Cherokee Purple, Prudens Purple, Yellow Brandywine, Hillbilly, Black Cherry, Yellow Pear and the free Ace plant. Now I'm thinking that no one else will like the fun ones. I might have A LOT of tomatoes to eat.

I'm actually find this frustrating that people (my family) are so used to the typical grocery store tasteless tomatoes that my very productive garden will be a flop.

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sunsi(z5 NY)

Yeah, I have a similar problem in that they wouldn't know the difference from rubbery, store bought to a delicious Cherokee Purple--"a tomato is a tomato" they say. BAH!

If you have a lot of tomatoes and can't eat them all yourself then do what I do--make up sauce to freeze and let's see them tell the difference then ;P

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 5:30AM
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This holds true for a lot of foods.

A couple of others that immediately come to my mind: macaroni & cheese, french fries,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 8:48AM
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I haven't tasted the black varieties, so I don't know whether or not I will like them. But the heirlooms I have tasted I have loved. I also like some of the hybrids, like Better Boys.

The other-than-red colored tomatoes are not going to be liked by all since they can have less acid than the red tomatoes. Some people just expect a tomato to be acidic and if it isn't, they don't like it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Contrary to popular belief, yellow and orange fruited varieties are not significantly lower in acid content than red tomatoes, they taste less acidic because they are sweeter than red varieties, because they have a higher sugar content.

In comparison, limes and lemons are much lower than the tomato's 4.0 to 4.6 pH, 2.0 and 2.2 respectively.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:55AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

It still amazes me when people just turn their noses up because it's "not what I'm used to." Life's too short to not have lots of variety! I took a huge bowl of Black Cherry, Dr. Caro Pink and Galina (a yellow cherry) to work one day and had an awful time convincing people that they were even tomatoes!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 3:29PM
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My grandpa, who use to farm interestingly enough, told me last year that he "only likes the red ones". Really? I could use the ones at my local store for a bouncy ball. Sigh.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 3:37PM
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I don't think they buy into the hype. Some heirlooms are "turkeys".

Many yellows and greens that get hyped are simply bland. Even though some may have a sugar or tart component they lack character otherwise. There are reds that way too.

Many of the good flavored ones have a certain je ne sais quoi about them. This is a quality one immediately gets on the first bite without having to search to say something about them.

Just keep trying because there are good ones.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 3:38PM
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My sister in law went one better than that. They bought and moved into a house that already had big beautiful healthy tomato plants in the front beds. They grew, ripened and produced lovely round red classic tomatoes. (don't know what kind). She of course had to water and tend them, like it or not, for her young kids. She told me that she actually enjoyed eating the supermarket tomatoes MORE because she didn't have to see them with the dirt and bugs on them. WWHHHHAAAAAT??

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 4:48PM
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I started selling heirloom tomatoes for the first time this year and my customers keep coming back for more. Some are amazed at how good they taste. My best customer owns a gourmet deli, sandwich, salad, shop and buys at least 25 pounds a week from me. He says the gazpacho soup made from Kelloggs Breakfast was a real hit.
My trouble is I am running out of tomatoes and some of my plants are starting to shut down for the summer, although so far this year I have had no disease even though I use absolutely no pesticides or fungicides. I sold over 200 pounds of tomatoes from my 29 plants which include 24 varieties, besides using an equal amount for my own family needs and tomatoes I gave away to friends.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 8:51PM
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To each their own. On the same token, I have a great Unclewho has farmed his whole life. Mainly in cowpeas,okra,and a few Celebrity over the last decade.

And as soon as I started growing some pink and black maters, he would stroll by and every now and then,mention "those tomato plants aren't going to produce like they should." I felt like taking a pound-size pink and beaming him in the head, followed by a quick sprint towards him, with a purple in my hand to shove into his open mouth.

Take care,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:03PM
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I fell in love with German Johnson last year. My dad gave me some - he had gotten some plants from his cousin who had too many (I was only growing Celebrity and Mr. Stripey). But Dad didn't like them b/c "they're too big". He likes one he can eat at one sitting, not one that 1 slice covers the plate! (Though I don't get that, he lets his cukes, zukes and squash get so big he has to scoop the seeds out.)

So he planted Sweet 100 and Jet Star this year. I've got Pink Brandywine, Speckled Roman pastes, Gardener's Delight cherries, and Glaciers I started from seed. Plus 4th of July, German Johnson, Cherokee Purple, another type of Brandywine, some kind of plum (only 1 plant) and 3 yellow pears that his cousin started and didn't have room for.

Glaciers were OK for first of the season (actually 2nd, I did get 2 4th of July in June but now everything's green except Glaciers). I'm just waiting for the heirlooms (though eager to try the yellow pear which are very prolific - that, the cherries and the Glaciers are the only that I have multiple fruits on each plant, and the cherries aren't doing well, runty plants).

Oh, and I'm going to scream the next time my dad tells me that I messed up the soil adding UCG and compost and leaf mold (as well as some topsoil I got off CL). He claims he took some of the soil from our place for his garden (when?) and everything's doing great! All I can say is, the native soil tested pH 4.4, the CL topsoil tested 4.7, I know UCG are near neutral, and I did lime but not til this April so yellow pears are in 6.0, GJ are in 5.9, rest are lower pH and everything is low N (started out "very low" so it's an improvement). Was in too much of a rush to expand this year. Maybe the soil he took was higher in pH and N - he took it from a different area. Bet he limed it too - esp. if he took it a few years ago, it's had time to get in good range. I'm liming a teeny bit about once a month - dissolved it in water in July and sprinkled it between plants so as not to burn during June and August when we actually had rain. We'll test and lime again after harvest, then test again in the spring and maybe we'll be good for next year.

The Glaciers and the plum (as well as 3 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, 1 volunteer gourd from the compost heap, and 60 pepper plants) are in the garden area near the house that we have been liming and amending for 3 years, that pH is 6.4 and N is Medium High and those plants are growing like crazy! Don't have to fertilize at all. In fact, I've got so much new growth on my peppers and some aren't blossoming yet, I wonder if the soil is "too good".

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:46PM
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Well, took a bruschetta appetizer to the family dinner last night 3/ 5 different varieties - burgandy traveler, kelloggs breakfast, black krim, black prince and celebrity and it was a huge hit. So, they may turn their noses up at eating one plain but the bruschetta just disappeared! I may not have to eat them all myself.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:18AM
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