Sunday, June 24, 2012

Papi's 2012 Line-up: Second Flight


I have planted this tomato for several years.  It is a very good producer and has good to excellent flavor. I generally pick tomatoes I have not grown before for their names or if they look good in the catalogs.  I am soooo a sucker for tomato catalogs, but that is a blog I have to write in the winter.  If a tomato is going to stay in the line-up it has to first and foremost taste good.  Second, it should be a good producer. It has to have more than six or seven tomatoes on it.  Lastly, if it is disease resistant, especially for powdery mildew, that is a good thing.  Tomande meets all three of these requirements.  It has the flavor and looks of an heirloom, but with the yield and disease resistance of a modern hybrid.

This tomato is new to the line-up this year.  According to the seed catalogs’ propaganda, early bearing, intense flavor, potato-leaved with large clusters of abundant tomatoes.  It is an heirloom from Germany.  I picked it because it looked pretty, I liked the name and it was an early producer.  Then I went and planted it in the second flight, go figure. 

San Marzano Redorta

I planted this tomato for the first time in 2011.  I had planted the smaller San Marzano tomatoes before with mixed success.  For those of you not that familiar with the San Marzano, it is the premier tomato grown in Italy for making marinara or paste.  Take a trip to an Italian specialty grocery or deli and you will pay a fortune for canned San Marzano tomatoes from Italy.  Now don’t get me wrong, the San Marzano tomatoes from Italy really do taste great.  I just feel they are not worth their lofty price tag.  The San Marzano Redorta is an heirloom from Tuscany, Italy.  It is named for a mountain in Bergamo, Italy.  This tomato is a San Marzano on steroids.  It is big, 7 to 8 inches in length, meaty with almost no juice and all meat.  You cook a couple of these babies down for marinara sauce and you don’t have to worry about your sauce being thin.  We canned a bunch of these last year.  I make a very bright marinara with the San Marzano Redorta we canned in 2011 when I make pizza.  I make a very good pizza and these tomatoes make a great marinara.

This is one of my fantastic, pizzas with San Marzano Redorta tomates made into a marinara for the pizza.

Cory’s Grandpa

This tomato has a lot going for it. It has been in the line-up for years, and will always be there.  It is a good producer of large beef steak tomatoes that are multicolored with beautiful coloring of yellow, green and red (think rainbow, but only prettier).  It tastes absolutely fabulous with lots of juice and flavor.  You put some mozzarella on one of these tomatoes, some basil and a sprinkle of olive oil you have a meal that will not leave you hungry.  But the best thing about this tomato is that it has a great story. 

In years past, one of my daughters dated a young man by the name of Cory.  My daughter and Cory have long since parted ways, but when they were going together, this young man knew of my passion for tomatoes and brought me seeds from his Grandpa’s prized tomato.  When Cory gave me the seeds, he recounted this beautiful, multicolored tomato that his Grandpa had grown for years.  It was prized within the family and treasured for its beauty and taste.  I operate on the premise that talk is cheap, show me what you got.  The first year I planted this tomato, I planted 2 or 3 of them. It was a good thing, because only one made it (I wasn’t as talented as I am now and my tomato growing was hit or miss).  This tomato was so beautiful and so tasty, it was a hit and favorite.  Cory’s Grandpa has passed on, but his tomato will live in my garden for as long as I am growing tomatoes.

Vorlon Update

This is a very good tasting tomato.  With a name like Vorlon and the story behind it, this could stay in the line up.

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