It seemed to take forever, but our tomatoes are finally ripe for the picking! What a pleasant surprise on our return from Michigan to find that all four varieties bore fruit that was ready to eat. Check out the four varieties we’ve been enjoying below.
Variety #1: Paul Robeson
Named for Paul Robeson, an unbelievable renaissance man and champion of the Civil Rights Movement, this tomato does not grow to be particularly large, but its lack of size is more than made up for with beauty and taste. The skin and flesh of the Paul Robeson tomato goes from deep red to dark green and purple. It has an earthy-sweet tomato taste, and is not overly juicy. Eaten right out of the garden or on BLT’s (as we did) this was a very pleasant tomato. It was my favorite, and a close second for Rebecca.
Variety #2: Blush
What a surprise! This oddly shaped tomato tastes refreshing and sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. When ripe, the skin becomes pink-orange, with vertical stripes. Larger than cherry tomatoes but slightly smaller than plum, these are perfect in salads or right off the plant. We have had to pace ourselves in consuming these because they are just so good. (Mainly I had to keep Rebecca from eating them all. They were definitely her favorite.)
Variety #3: Marvel Striped
These beauties ripen to fruits weighing 1-1.5 lbs! They are yellow and streaked with orange and red and heavily ribbed. Originating in the Zapotec civilization of Mexico, the tomato has a mild taste but is juicy and very refreshing. Cooking marvels is unheard of, since they lose their show-stopping colors inside and out. This wasn’t quite flavorful enough to hold up in a BLT, but it’s a great knife-and-fork tomato.
Varitey #4: Jelly Beans
Jelly Beans are a high-yield hybrid tomato. That doesn’t make them sound particularly delicious, I know, but they happen to be perfectly sweet (hence the name) and satisfying. They hold up very well after picking and are the perfect accompaniment to a green salad. Fruits are small and oval, similar to the size of a red grape.
Being able to eat these tomatoes makes me really excited for the second planting this fall (we get two in South Carolina). What will be next? Cherokee Purple? Brandywine? Green Zebra? Dixie Golden Giant?
What’s your favorite variety?