tomato taste test results


tomato taste test 2

And the winners were …. Cherokee Purple and Sungold!

I have eight varieties of tomatoes along the south side of my house. Seven were perfectly ripe and we tasted them side-by-side.

1. Orange Blossom
2. Mortgage Lifter
3. Big Beef
4. New Girl
5. Cherokee Purple
6. Brandywine Sudduth’s Strain
7. Sungold

I think the way we did the test had an affect on the results. We tested the tomatoes plain, no food, no salt, one after the other. We were surprised that none tasted as good as we expected.

The big heirlooms, Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter were mealy with not much flavor. Big Beef and New Girl were more firm, but still not much flavor. Orange Blossom tasted nice and firm. Sungold was really sweet! Wonderful. Very nice if you like all the skin of a cherry tomato. And Cherokee Purple had a nice tomato flavor, looks great, and, since I’m not a fan of cherries, I pick it as the WINNER! (My husband picked the Sungold.)

I suspect if we taste tested with Parmesan, salt and basil the results would be different. Even just salt. Then the taste wouldn’t have just been about consistency. I’m still a Brandywine fan …. And the winner for appearance was the big pink Mortgage Lifter.

tomato taste test 1 tomato taste test 3

25 Comments. Leave new

  • Whose Mortgage Lifter – apparently there are a few versions about.

  • I LOVE that tomato photo! I'm still waiting to take such a photo, maybe some day before frost I will have a bunch of tomatoes at once. I find the first few ripe tomatoes never taste very good and are mealy. I have grown cherokee purple's for 6 year and it is one that always seem to be good no matter what the weather is doing. I tasted the first Purple Calabash this evening in a tomato salad (torn bread, torn fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & vinaigrette). They were excellent!

  • I'll have to continue taste testing! I'm still hoping to get some Purple Calabash. I have lots of green ones.

  • The Mortgage Lifter is from Ohio Heirloom Seeds. So is the Cherokee Purple.

  • All my plants have lots of green ones too, I hope they ripen before frost. I've been thinking of getting a tomato strainer because I have a feeling they are going to be coming out of my ears if they ever ripen.

  • I'm in the same boad as Dan….lotsa GREEN tomatoes! LOL. Although, I've got 1 Cherokee Purple that is rippening. I can't WAIT to taste it! : )

    I'm very glad all of your tomato plants weren't a total loss Kathy! The photo is awesome. : )

  • The Purple Calabash make fantastic sauce. We had it on pizza all winter. If they come all at once its fine with me.

  • Marian(LondonUK)
    August 25, 2009 7:18 AM

    Hi, similar to Dan, here I have lots of green ones a few of the big ones going red but disappointing flavour except the beef Marmande, lovely and the cherry's Sungold and Black Russian really sweet. It is lovely to see your plate of varieties, enjoy!

  • Your photos look fantastic with your tomatoes! This past Sunday was the first harvest of the season for me to actually get a decent picture of my goods…been a slow but steady harvest this year…next year I am going to try my hand at those beautiful Cherokee purple!

  • I really find the Cherokee Purple attractive, similar to Chocolate Cherry, only bigger. I only have Pink Brandywine for heirloom this year and the harvest is abundant.

    How do you store your tomatoes and specially the beets?


  • My first tomatoes off all my plants tasted a bit bland and mealy. I'm in MA too and I suspect it may be the ones that ripened slowly under less than ideal conditions. Totally non-scientific, but they tasted "washed out," as if all the rain removed something vital. The more recent ones have been better–and a bit of salt always helps.

  • Those look so wonderful. I keep thinking about growing Cherokee purple next year. I love the black cherry tomatoes,but the big ones I've tasted have been disappointing. So many people say that Cherokee purple is good tasting too. How productive is it for you compared to the others?

  • Very interesting. We've been trying different ones at different meals (I'm growing 25 different kinds).

    Perhaps the mealy texture of a few of them had to do with all that rain you go this spring?

    I think my favorites so far are: Black Krim, Brandywine and Wasipinion peach.

  • Maybe you should do another tasting with salt. Still fair but with more information…

  • oh how I envy you your lovely red toms. Are any of those varieties blight resistant?

  • Mmm… we love our sungolds, too!

  • I'm wondering about composting tomato leaves. I haven't before, because I have the vague idea it promotes disease if you cold compost, which I do, plus aren't the leaves toxic?

  • I'm so jealous of your harvest!!! They look beautiful.

  • Karen Anne,

    The toxic tomato leaves won't hurt the plants. Its only toxic to people.

    But tomato promoting diseases can be an issue.

    The advice seems to be that Late Blight is the only pathogen that isn't always killed by composting and then being distributed in the soil. If you have Late Blight infected plants they should be disposed of in the trash.

    Otherwise, remove all tomato debris before winter and compost it or turn it into the soil. Make sure to rotate your crops so tomatoes are not in the same location more than once in three years.

    As far as I know this follows for both hot and cold composting. I do cold composting also.

    Please leave comments if you can add to this!

  • Thank you for the taste test information! I am planning on growing more varieties next year. My Mr. Stripey finally produced only three tomatoes and I found them to be much much better tasting than the Cherokee Purples I got at the farmer's market a couple blocks away. But I will never replant that plant, it is such a pain.

    I would always taste with salt, I think . . . since that's the only way I eat 🙂 Good harvest!

  • The Cherokee purple is definitely a favourite of mine too.

  • Since I am now harvesting two more varieties, Purple Calabash and Opalka, I'll have to do another tasting – with salt! (maybe a little martini too…)

  • Composting depends heavily on the composter's skill. Since tomatoes quit at first frost, you have lots of time to get a hot pile going. I always mow and bag my garden residue and then mix it in the compost bins with lawn clippings. The moisture in the garden residue usually gets it smoking hot … good for most pathogens. I've never (bad to say "never") had a problem with my next year's tomatoes and my compost. My only compost problems have to do with what I put into the compost in the winter, like winter squash seeds that sprout in the spring or tomato seeds that are from those held-in-newspaper-until-December tomatoes that sprout in the spring.

    Having said that, I would never compost blighted tomatoes like the ones ya'll had in the NE.


  • Thanks Paul. I wish I was better at composting. I'm trying to learn more.

  • I love sungold too…but this year we tried sweetgold…and I swear it is even better!!


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