The other day, before the Melon Tasting at Nichols Garden Nursery,we had a Tomato Tasting! What a fabulous day to be there!! We had a baker’s dozen of tomato varieties to taste.

The folks who tasted commented:
Larger tomatoes included:
‘Black Krim’ – the favorite; with a good balance of acid and sugar; stands alone; great on a hamburger
‘Carmello’ – bland, juicy, like a store-bought tomato
‘Crimson Carmello’ – acid with good flavor
‘Heartland’ – excellent flavor; juicy for sandwiches
‘Jaune de Flamme’ – yellow, juicy, watery flavor
‘Legend’ – meaty, but not flavorful
‘Margo’ – not at peak ripeness; crunchy
‘Marmand’ – acidic, bland, good for sauce
‘Rutgers’ – the “gold standard”, heirloom, the “Jersey tomato,” parent of many hybrid tomatoes

‘Thai Pink’ – represented the plum group, flavorful, slightly acid, good in salads
‘Sugary’ is a grape, – flavorful with a good bite (others didn’t like it at all)

Cherries included:
‘Cal Hy K9’ – red, crunchy, generally not liked
‘Orange Sunshine’ – less sweet, crispy
‘Sun Gold’ – the gold standard – fabulous, sweet
‘Sunsugar’ – hard to differentiate from ‘Sun Gold’

A group of foodie/garden writers is sitting with me now at Rose Marie’s kitchen table: Josh Young, Jim Long, Jane Whitfield, and Ros Creasy, tasting the cherry tomatoes… ‘Sun Gold’ and ‘Sunsugar’ were indistinguishable – basically we loved the orange cherries!!

If you’re in the area, come to Nichols on on Saturday the 20th from 1 to 4 pm and judge for yourself.

Looking forward to hearing what your favorites are….

Cathy Wilkinson Barash

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