Friday, July 31, 2009

Central Coast Tomato Trials - part 6

Some initial tasting results are in. My husband and I tasted 4 varieties and picked our favorites. Three contestants were from my garden [Sungold, Stupice (pictured at left), Camp Joy] and one from my grandmother-in-law's garden (Celebrity). The taste test was blind for my husband. [It reminded me of those taste tests in the 80s between Coke and Pepsi.] Anyway, I chose Sungold and my husband chose Celebrity. I know it wasn't his fault; but I was so disappointed that my husband chose his grandmother's tomato over mine (darn him!). But in the end we decided that they were all good tomatoes - head and shoulders above store bought ones.

I'm thinking about hosting a neighborhood tomato taste test. Ya know, line up several bowls of tomatoes, pass out toothpicks, and have everybody pick their favorite. It sounds like a lot of fun and would give me better results (or at least a larger sample size) for judging taste. As a matter of fact, this is how the famous Carmel TomatoFest began. It all started in Gary Isben's backyard, with a few friends tasting some of his heirloom tomatoes. After a few years it grew so popular that he had to move to a larger location. And then people told him to start charging an entry fee. Last year there were a few thousand people at the TomatoFest. And apparently, that was the final year for TomatoFest. I did a quick search to find out if someone has taken it over since Gary Isben retired in 2008, but nothing turned up. If anybody knows what happened, please let me know. It was a very popular event, with tickets selling out every year.

Guess I'll just have to host my own little TomatoFest in the cul-de-sac...

As far as the tomato trials go, the leaders in production are Stupice, Early Girl (F2), and Sungold (F2), with close to 2 lbs each per plant. I have had ripe fruit from these varieties: Camp Joy, Early Girl (F2), Glacier, Stupice, Sungold (F2), and Sweetie. I'm still waiting on these: Lahman Pink, Paul Robeson, San Francisco Fog, and San Marzano.

Standard-issued lunch at my house:
An open-faced tomato sandwich with gouda and fresh basil (from the garden). Does it get any better than this?


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heirloom tomatoes said...


Good idea on tomato trials.......always lots of fun. I've spoken to Gary Ibsen a few times on phone, related to purchase of heirloom seeds, which helped me accumulate hundreds of varieties. Some years have grown as many as 100 apiece ! What the bees did to them on crosses I've yet to find out ! If you're ever in Northeast late August.....try to get to the annual Rutgers University tomato'll have a chance at about 50 varieties (bring small plastic ziplocks)if you like the taste, they'll let you get the seeds right there. p.s. admission is FREE. Yay!

Have grown some of what you've got in the sure they're all better than good. your area.....we enjoyed a brief stay in Monterray, great hotel on the water (forget the name), and nice aquarium.

I'll be posting my heirlooms one at a time as they ripen, in case you're interested....only about 25 or so varieties this year.

Jackie said...

Hi heirloom tomatoes, thanks for stopping by. Wow! 100 varieties!

Glad you liked Monterey. It's a nice place to live.