Sauce and Paste Tomatoes
1884 ($5.95) (B) (
(HG)(E) 78 days. 1884 is a superbly flavored old-time tomato which grows on a strong vigorous plant and produces big luscious 2 lb. deep dark pink fruit with luxurious flavor and sets fruit readily in hot weather. It is said that the original seeds were discovered in 1884 by a Mr. Williamson in the debris after the big flood in Friendly, West Virginia. This grand fruit has taken top mention year after year in tomato tastings all over the country. Easy to grow and very productive. Marvelous for fresh eating and makes a luscious sauce.
Anna Russian ($5.95) (VE) (
(HG)65 days. This was the very first heirloom tomato I ever tasted and one of the finest of the oxheart tomatoes.
The plant has very delicate, wistful foliage as do many of the Russian varieties. Don't let that fool you! Anna is easy to grow and bears heavily during hot and cool weather.
Years ago my mom brought me some perfect heart-shaped Anna Russians from her garden. She had gotten the seeds from a friend. I tasted; I swooned. From 8 to 12 ounces, the fruits she brought had grown in beautiful clusters of 2 or 3--I wouldn't be without it.
Still in my top 5 favorites after all these years, Anna Russian is always among the first few plants I set out in my home garden every spring in a little Tomato Love ceremony. Its perfect heart shape in colors ranging from pink to red make it very special indeed.
Anna Russian seeds came to Craig Lehoullier from Brenda Hillenius of Oregon, who got the seeds from her grandfather, Kenneth Wilcox. Years earlier he had been given the original seeds from a Russian immigrant friend--a genuine example of the intriguing history these grand old tomatoes carry with them.
Black Plum ($5.95) 75 days.
(E) (P-S)This marvelous plant offers a very heavy production of rich, sweet, fruity, elongated, mahogany plum-shaped 3" fruits that fall into your hands by the dozens as you pick them. This one is outstanding eaten fresh, or sliced in a salad, with a rich smoky sweetness and a delicate touch of tartness to its creamy flesh, it makes a fabulous and perfectly balanced sauce or paste and is becoming a great favorite for canning and drying. I like it fresh off the vine for straight-up garden snackin'. First place winner at the TomatoMania tasting of 2002.
Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red ($5.95)
(HG)(E) 78 days. From Gary Ibsen, owner of Carmel TomatoFest, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red is a deep-red, round, beefsteak type fruit with a robust unruly tomatoey flavor and firm, meaty yet juicy flesh that invites tomato feasting and seed-saving. The tall, indeterminate, very disease resistant plant produces loads of 3-4", 10-12 oz. fruits.
"This is one of those big, bold tasting tomatoes that is not for sissies," said Ibsen. "Although it has some of the highest sugar levels I've ever seen from a tomato, the sweetness is in the background and its fruity flavors are balanced beautifully with plenty of acidity, earthy nuances and flavor complexity. It's a perfect tomato for eating fresh, cooking or canning.
Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red has proven resistant to several of the most common tomato diseases: verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, nematodes and tobacco mosaic virus."
"Within the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes I've grown each year has been a selection of previously undistributed, un-named varieties, the seeds of which have been handed down within different families from around the country for generations, then tucked into letters from gardeners wanting to share their legacy with me."
"For years I've wanted pay tribute to our neighbor Clint Eastwood for the generosity he's bestowed upon our Carmel-Monterey community, for his actions to preserve the natural beauty of our coastline and for the years of support he's given to the Carmel TomatoFest," said Gary Ibsen. With Clint's permission I chose to name it 'Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red', after Clint's character, Rowdy Yates, from the old television series Rawhide."
"The seeds of this variety came from Archie Millett who is now 81 and living in the foothills of the Sierras. Archie was a tomato breeder with the
Universityof California Davissince the early 50's. Following years of crossing thousands of tomato varieties at the university to produce a disease resistant tomato with intense flavor, he retired in 1987 and continued cross breeding to enhance the flavor qualities of his favorite tomato from his small home garden."
"Archie gave me these seeds by pressing them into my palm while we were in his garden," said Ibsen. "He said, "Here
Gary, these are for you. I've only shared these with friends and family. This is the best tasting tomato of my 50 years of growing tomatoes. Name it what you want, share it with others. You are the person I'd like to introduce this tomato to the public."
Gary named this fabulous tomato for his friend and fellow environmentalist, Clint Eastwood.
Gary Ibsen's friendship and encouragement continue to inspire my love for heirloom tomatoes. He has been my mentor and finest inspiration, and his award winning book, The Great Tomato Book, is always nearby.
Archie Millett is a national treasure. If I have a tomato question that even Gary can't answer, he points me to Archie," Time to call Archie..."
Costoluto Genovese ($5.95) (P-S) (E) 70 days. A big beautiful and classic Italian heirloom, the deeply fluted, ribbed intensely-red 8 oz. fruits are mouthwatering and utterly scrumptious. This stunning tomato has a splendid, complex old-time flavor which makes it a perfect choice for sauce and fresh eating.
Druzba (DROOSH-Bah) ($5.95) 80 days.
This is a very special favorite of mine which I've grown in my personal stash for many years.
Because it's such an extraordinary variety,I have sent plants of Druzba as an alternate for Goose Creek when Goose Creek plants were too small to ship.
Soon I began getting calls from customers who loved it and begged me to send them another Druzba! So, I've decided to include it for 2012. I think you will agree that it has a very robust, rich, concentrated tomato flavor borne in smooth, perfectly round, deep-red, blemish-free 10 ounce fruits with good disease resistance and high production. Makes great salsa and is a fine canning tomato.
The name Druzba means friendship in Bulgarian only they write it this way: приятелство. Pretty cool. :)
Goldman's Italian-American ($6.95)
Due to unprecedented customer requests, I am including this marvelous tomato for 2010. Heirloom Guru Extraordinaire, Amy Goldman, found this delightful full-figured, big-flavored tomato at a roadside stand in Cernobbio, Italy and named it after her father's Brooklyn, NY grocery store.
With very few seeds, Goldman's Italian-American is a terrific choice for cooking--
makes a very silky sauce, creamy paste and adds some magic to soups and stews.
Pear shaped, blood red, juicy and meaty, growing to about 12 to 16 ounces with a beguiling ruffledshape, it is in such high demand that seeds are almost sold out everywhere. I managed to get my hands on 250 seeds only, so please order early!
Photograph of Goldman's Italian-American is the property of
Baker Creek Seeds and used here with
their gracious permission.
This tomato is revered by the Italians for its
BIG taste. Whether for fresh eating or cooking, you will fall in love with
($5.95) 88 days.
AKA Japanese Black Truffle ($5.95)
The skin is smooth and crack resistant and production is huge.
Don't over-water and you will be rewarded with flavor that is deep,
and rich, just wonderful. Took their picture and ate 'em.
This tomato is revered by the Italians for its BIG taste. Whether for fresh eating or cooking, you will fall in love with Italian Heirloom.
NEW FOR 2015
($5.95) 88 days.
AKA Japanese Black Truffle ($5.95)
AKA Japanese Black Truffle ($5.95)
The skin is smooth and crack resistant and production is huge. Don't over-water and you will be rewarded with flavor that is deep, chocolaty, smoky and rich, just wonderful. Took their picture and ate 'em.
75 days. This extremely
prolific plant produces a huge yield--the fruit loads up in amazing quantities on a small 3 foot plant. Its yummy crop of 3" red
pear-shaped Roma tomatoes that are great for cooking, and sweet and luscious enough to enjoy
fresh right out of your hand. Very meaty with few seeds, highly productive,
marvelous for canning, and for your favorite tomato sauce recipe. The flavor
intensifies exponentially during cooking.
Martino's Roma (D) ($5.95) (P-S) (E) (SM) 75 days. This extremely prolific plant produces a huge yield--the fruit loads up in amazing quantities on a small 3 foot plant. Its yummy crop of 3" red pear-shaped Roma tomatoes that are great for cooking, and sweet and luscious enough to enjoy fresh right out of your hand. Very meaty with few seeds, highly productive, marvelous for canning, and for your favorite tomato sauce recipe. The flavor intensifies exponentially during cooking.
At 8 to 10 ounces-- with reports of up to 16 ounces-- and 4" to 6" long, it is a much larger tomato with much better flavor than its cousin, San Marzano. San Marzano Redorta is marvelously rich, extremely productive and good enough to eat fresh, right off the vine.
My friend, Gary Ibsen of TomatoFest.com, prefers it to any other Italian paste tomato. I agree!
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