The 2nd taste test for 2009 is Sungold. I'm actually growing and tasting an F2 plant because the original Sungold is a hybird. Sungold has a reputation for great taste and heavy production, even in cool weather.
I realize that this taste test is a little bit irrelevant in some respects, being that is a test of an F2. But it's important to me, since I love Sungold and I love open-pollinated plants. I have a mission to create an open-pollinated Sungold-like-plant. So, I going to continue to try and stabilize an OP version by selecting the best plant each year and saving seed. Eventually, I hope to have a great OP Sungold. When I get this future strain, I'll name it Sungold-OP. Or maybe Jackie's Lucky Sungold OP. Or...maybe I'll buy a race horse and name it that ;)
Anyway, the next tomato in the taste test series is Sungold F2.
Seed Catalog Description:
There is none. I got a hybrid seedling from a neighbor who bought too many for his garden last year. I saved seed from the 2008 plant and planted it out in 2009. I was able to fit in 2 Sungold F2 plants. One produced red (not the characteristic orange) fruit and is ok, but not great. The other is awesome! It produces bigger and more fruit than the original plant from 2008. It has incredible branching inflorescences that are loaded with fruit. This is the plant I'm reviewing here.
Production and Earliness:
My plant has produced 304 (dang!) tomatoes so far this season (first part of Sept.). The total production weighs in at 5.6 lbs. On average, the fruits weigh 0.3 ounce each. (Hey! It's a cherry tomato!) I picked the first ripe tomato on 7/08/09.
Fruit Size, Color and Shape:
This Sungold F2 produces bright, orange, cherry-sized tomaotes. They are dime- to half-dollar sized. Most fruit are quarter-sized. They are 'well rounded'. When sliced, they have a peachy-yellow coloring inside. If eaten when slightly under-ripe, the inside will be green and yellow. Slightly under-ripe Sungolds are golden with green shoulders.
Plant Growth Habit:
This Sungold F2 is not shy about it's height. It is currently about 9 feet tall and has regular tomato leaves.
There is little juice in Sungold, but instead it is more meaty.
The taste is citrusy and punchy. It is medium-high in acidity. If eaten when slightly under-ripe, the flavor is really strong with even more acidity. I prefer to eat them when they are fully ripe and, therefore, fully orange. Salt weakens the flavor somewhat.
Cooking and serving options: I usually just eat them fresh. But I've also halved them and used them as a topping for homemade pizza - yum. There have been so many this year, that I've also dried some in the dehydrator.
Is it a winner?
This Sungold F2 is a winner in my book! I'm hoping that its progeny (selfed) will be very similar to the parent plant. It produced early and heavily. And the flavor doesn't quit. I like a tomato with some kick and Sungold F2 has it. I'll definitely be growing out a few of the F3 generation next year.