My “Typical” Tomatoes
I mentioned yesterday that I have fallen in love with certain tomatoes, which I consider as staples in our garden. There are two, specifically, that I feel I just can’t do without.
Brandywine (Lycopersicon esculentum)
As far as I’m concerned, Brandywine are some of the most beautiful tomatoes grown. More pink than red, they are considered to be “the benchmark” for real tomato flavor.
Brandywine have leaves that look more like a potato plant’s than a tomato. Once, I gave six plants to a neighbor, who pulled them up from her tomato bed and tossed them, thinking I had given her the wrong thing…. (Alas!)
We love them sliced, with salt (or sugar) and they make an awesome tomato sandwich. Two years ago, we had such an abundance, that they were used to make our pizza sauce — which turned out especially sweet and tangy.
Dating back to Amish Country near Philadelphia in 1889, the fruit grows deep pink and plump, up to one pound.
Twice I have tried the Amana Orange tomato seed, referred to as the “Yellow Brandywine.” They germinated well, but I had a more challenging time getting them to survive the transition from seed tray to garden bed. In all, I had one plant survive, which produced about 8 tomatoes – but they were really, really good as well.
I just wasn’t sure about “purple” tomatoes until I tasted one. They are amazing, with an earthy, almost smoky flavor. The Black Krim is a Russian heirloom that originated in Krim, a Crimean town on the Black Sea. The baseball sized fruits are dark, purple/black.
Black Krim is known to be one of the most reliable of the “black” tomatoes, and our seeds have always germinated and sprouted well.
I like them sliced, but the Black Krim have become the “secret ingredient” in our home-made ketchup, which is more like a tangy barbecue sauce than ketchup. They darken as they cook, so my ketchup actually looks like tar in a jar.
Sure, I have other favorite tomatoes — Money Maker, Mortgage Lifter, Red Oxheart to name a few. But the Brandywine and Black Krim will always be mainstays in our garden.
About two years ago, a gardening mentor handed me something I had never seen before. A small round loofa - grown in her yard. How