Green-When-Ripe Tomatoes

 

How to tell if a green tomato is ripe and not just an unripe fruit? 

Close your eyes and feel it; if it's soft, it's ripe. Ripe green tomatoes are sweet, luscious and a little tangy, just like a perfectly ripe red or pink or orange or black or purple tomato.  :) 

Don't be shy. Give it a try.

 

Aunt Ruby's German Green ($5.95)  (B) (E) 75-78 days. You're going to love this beautiful Tennessee tomato. Big, sweet beefsteaks, bursting with a fragrant, complex, spicy-sweetness with a touch of tang. A gorgeous green-when-ripe color, this much sought after variety is a real treat to have in your garden, and is said to be the very best tasting green. Reaching an average of 1 lb, Aunt Ruby's German Green grows in clusters of 2 or 3.

With its intricate, earthy, unforgettable flavor, this one will broaden your tomato horizons. Very adaptable, and easy to grow with good disease resistance. From Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee who passed away in 1997.

 

(Dwarf) Emerald Giant ($6.25)  F/C (E)    65 days

Small plant with big production of large tomatoes with full-bodied, very intense flavors. This new dwarf plant variety is essentially a dwarfed version of Green Giant. With deep green, potato leaf foliage and a very sturdy main stem it grows to only four feet. Fruits can range from 8 ounces to a pound and ripen to green with a bit of a pale-pink blush on the blossom end. Just spectacular ! 

Another delightful variety from the dedicated crew of the Dwarf Tomato Project for those growing in small gardens or containers or who want to fit more plants into their large garden. 

 

 

 

Green Giant ($5.95) (E) (B) 60-70 days. On a flavor scale of 1 to 100, Green Giant is a 100 +. Incredible. Unforgettable.  The flavor is  rich, intoxicating and intense. If you haven't tried it yet, now's the time. You won't be sorry....

 

 Occasionally a tomato comes along which deserves very special attention. This big, up to 2 lb., green when ripe tomato resoundingly stole the show in 4 different tomato tastings. We had the immense pleasure of tasting it at TomatoFest in Carmel, California where it captured the hearts of tasters and garnered a great deal of attention. I have not been this impressed by a tomato since discovering Brown Derby in 2007.

 

It arose originally in the garden of Reinhard Kraft of Germany in 2000 when he planted 30 seeds called 'Green Giant' from a friend in Canada. 29 of them grew out regular leafed except for one which had big potato leafed foliage. Reinhard cultivated that one, selecting the best fruit for several seasons, and continued to save seeds. Yay, Reinhard. Seeds are not available commercially but I have managed to secure some for the 2006 season from my buddy Cynthia Geske, owner of Love Apple Farm in Ben Lomond, CA. Cynthia grew the magnificent Green Giant fruits we tasted at TomatoFest and graciously let me use her photograph here. 

 

NOTE:  How to tell if a green tomato is ripe and not just an unripe fruit?  Close your eyes and feel it; if it's soft, it's ripe.

 

 

  GreenZebra cut open.jpg (600368) Green Zebra ($5.95) (E) 72 days. Visually enchanting, abundantly productive, this 2-inch round fruit ripens to a beautiful amber gold with dark green zebra-like stripes over the amber background. Inside, the flesh is beautiful, sparkling green. Another wonderful variety from Tom Wagner, it is gorgeous to behold, tangy and deeply sweet with lingering flavors, like fine wine.  This exquisite tomato was chosen by chef extraordinaire, Alice Waters, for her restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. In my top 5.  

 

 

 

 

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Photograph courtesy of www.tomatofest.com

Lime Green Salad ($5.95) (VSM)   (E)   52 days. This tomato has become one of my passions. I grew only one Lime Green Salad plant the first season and wish I'd grown 10.

This petite plant, about 18 to 20" tall--great for small containers like 2 to 5 gallons, or in your main garden, produces early abundant harvests of luscious tangy-sweet 3 to 4 oz. round lime-green tomatoes which literally burst with intricate, sweet refreshing citrusy flavors when you bite into them. The flesh inside is a gorgeous chartreuse, juicy...the flavor lingers. Unforgettable.

 

 

 

 

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