Tomato Taste Testing Potluck Plan


For several years, I held a tomato taste testing garden party. Guests would try different varieties, compare the attributes and select the one they liked best. The following year, I grew the “best” along with new choices and repeated the event.  Everyone loved to be in on the fun.

So why not do it again? This year, I spoke with chef Rocco Verrigni, one of our supporters, and he’s on board to help host a tomato taste testing potluck when the tomatoes ripen. How great is that!

There are more than a dozen different varieties of tomatoes in the community gardens for our future dining pleasure.

Following is a brief write-up about six of the tomatoes. I’ll write about the other six in the near future.

Fourth of July – one of the earliest varieties of non-cherry tomatoes. Matures in 65 days or less and produces many fruits. Flavor is considered better than average. Some people commented online that the skin is thick. We can see what we think.

Black Beauty – Very dark in color, almost blue-black heirloom. It is meaty, fleshy and reportedly very tasty.  Online commenters said this was a great tasting tomato with a rich, smooth earthy flavor.

Berkeley Tie-Dye –  I can’t wait to you see this heirloom. In photos it looks tie-dyed with dark wine red and green stripes. The flavor of the 8 to 12 ounce fruits are reportedly very sweet and rich.

Abe Lincoln –  Mother Earth News said, these “tomatoes are large, meaty, flavorful heirloom tomatoes. There are many exceptional heirloom tomatoes, but ‘Abraham Lincoln’ consistently produces huge crops of extra large, meaty fruit.”

San Marzano – This is a well-known and well-regarded Italian cooking tomato. Long fruit filled with thick, dry flesh and few seeds make this a good choice for sauces or canning.

Defiant – This tomato has three things going for it right off the bat. It ripens early, it is disease resistant and the flavor is good. If you research this one, you’ll find it is resistant  to late blight, early blight, fusarium wilt, and verticillium wilt. Impressive.

Brian Wilson from Trak Rentals you’re invited to the potluck. Thank you so much for the use of the auger to get our raised beds in place.

Special thank you to Murray Penney and Robert Curry. They started these tomatoes early in the season and provided transplants to us and all the community gardeners.