11. Tomato Review

I’ve pasted the descriptions of each variety we grew (from Baker Creek) with my thoughts on each:

From left: Delicious, Sarah Black, Orange Icicle, German Lunchbox and Yellow Morning Sun

From left: Delicious, Sarah Black, Orange Icicle, German Lunchbox and Yellow Morning Sun


90 days. This tomato was developed many years ago by Burpee’s from “Beefsteak” tomato, after 13 years of selection for smoother fruit. This really big tomato produces huge 1-to 3-lb fruit that are fairly smooth for a giant tomato, and as the name implies, these are delicious! In 1986 it set the world record for weight, with a giant 7 lb 12 oz fruit! (source)



We did not get any giant Delicious tomatoes. Our Delicious tomatoes looked like regular red tomatoes that you would find in any grocery store. So many of our friends and neighbors grow tomatoes and around here homegrown “typical” red tomatoes are never in short supply from mid-July-September so I am wondering if I even want to grow red tomatoes next year. The taste of the Delicious does live up to the name, but again nothing amazingly wonderful or different.

Sarah Black

78 days. Attractive, fairly uniform and crack-resistant, purplish-brown fruit have darker streaks in the flesh and are large in size. Earlier than some of the other “black” types. Very rich flavor that is both sweet and spicy with a hint of earthy overtones that make the flavor so good; many consider it to be among the best-tasting tomatoes. Introduced by in the 1990s by Joe Bratka, who received seeds via his great-aunt who lived in Germany. (source)

Sarah Black Tomato

Sarah Black Tomato

These take longer to mature than any of the others and seem to produce less tomatoes. I have not been able to pick up on the subtle flavor differences described in the Baker Creek description and think they basically taste like a regular red tomato.

Orange Icicle

Sweet, rich and flavorful with strong citrus overtones made this Jere’s favorite eating variety last season. We just couldn’t get enough of the sweet, luscious, glowing orange icicle-like fruit that are like an extra long paste tomato. This variety also makes a lovely orange ketchup and a superb salsa. It was a definite winner, and plants were quite productive. In our opinion, this is some of the Ukraine’s finest tomato breeding. Fruit have relatively few seeds. (source)

"Orange Icicle" Tomato turning orange!

“Orange Icicle” Tomato turning orange!

These were most susceptible to blossom-end rot. The taste was bright and good (though citrus overtones?). A “lovely orange ketchup” sounds awesome but we didn’t have enough of them to try something like that. The plants were tall and spindly.

German Lunchbox

70-80 days. This heirloom was brought into the seed store a few years ago by a local gentleman who had been saving this tomato for many years. His family brought this variety to the USA when they immigrated here. The fruit are the size of a small egg, vibrant pink, sugar sweet, and begging to be eaten. Perfectly sized for salads or putting in the lunchbox! A favorite of mine. (source)

German Lunchbox Tomatoes

German Lunchbox Tomatoes

This is a good description and I wouldn’t argue with any of the points made.

Morning Sun Yellow Cherry

60 days. Fairly compact regular-leafed plants yield impressive amounts of 1 1/2-2 inch perfect little grape-type fruits in clusters of up to eight fruits per bunch! Wonderful sweet flavor. (source)

Morning Sun Yellow Cherry Tomatoes

Morning Sun Yellow Cherry Tomatoes

Agree with this description as well. If you are going to grow cherry or grape tomatoes it is fun to go with a color other than red and the yellow looks so cherry and bright.

So will I grow any of these again? Nah…I can’t resist trying new varieties and there are more unique varieties I’d like to try. I think we had a nice sunny rainbow of tomatoes this year but next year I’d like to see variegated yellows, ribbed purples and some big oxheart shapes in the tomato patch. I envisioned my tomato review to be a blindfolded taste-test, where we would try each and describe the taste and try and pick out the subtle differences in flavor (there’s always tomorrow!). Most of our tomatoes have been eaten plain (especially the cherry tomatoes which just beg to be eaten as-is), in salads and of course on slices of bread with mayonnaise. I have eaten a tomato sandwich (salt/pepper/tomato/mayo) more days than not this past month. A tomato sandwich is the greatest way to eat homegrown tomatoes. It is simple and delicious. While eating a tomato sandwich I don’t really think about searching for citrus or smoky tomato undertones so if they were there, I missed them. I do think that every year (and every garden) is different. This year was not an ideal tomato/pepper/eggplant year as it was very cool and mild most of the summer, so some of these varieties could easily wow me in another season, but still I’d prefer to try some weirder varieties. If you have any extra-special tomato variety recommendations I’d love to hear them!



7 thoughts on “11. Tomato Review

  1. Benjamin

    Our favorites this year were Black Krim, Cherokee Purple and Mr. Stripey. And I agree with you about the tomato sandwich…best way to eat a homegrown tomato! :-) Cheers, Ben

  2. Pingback: 16. Zucchini Brownies | Spy Garden

  3. Mominthegarden

    Oh I remember the days of tomato sandwiches from when I was a kid! I wonder why it’s been so long since I’ve had one??? Lovely to read about your tomatoes. I really like how perfect they all looked! I know you prefer the more unusual, but I really liked yours! Dana


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