Tasting summer tomatoes: part 1.

Farmers’ markets are well-stocked with tomatoes this time of year, in the heat of late summer. And that’s good news for those of us who can’t get enough tomato goodness.

Rob and I decided to do a mini taste test to judge the flavor and texture of several heirloom tomato varieties. Our tomato tasting was anything but scientific, and we plan to pick up another batch of tomatoes soon to try some other varieties. We started by tasting each variety alone, with just a tiny bit of salt to bring out the flavor. Then we added good olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and a few crumbles of goat cheese to see how the tomatoes held up when paired with other flavors.

From left: Sun Gold, Super Sweet 100 (from our garden), Apricot, Green Zebra, Carolina Gold, Brandywine

Sun Gold: These are my favorite cherry tomatoes: very sweet, with a deep and mellow flavor. Fairly thin-skinned.

Super Sweet 100: We’ve had good luck with these in the garden, and we’re awaiting the second crop. Firm, a bit thicker-skinned, with a true tomato flavor.

Apricot: Pale yellow, with a matte-finished skin. Apricot ranked #2 in our tomato taste test. It has a nice, zingy acidity and a bright tomato-y flavor, with a soft texture and thin skin. Lovely.

Green Zebra: Prettier than it is tasty. This small tomato makes a gorgeous addition to the plate, but doesn’t pack a ton of flavor. Our least favorite on taste alone, but we’ll keep it around because of its looks.

Carolina Gold: A gorgeous orange color, soft texture and thin skin. It has low acidity and moderate tomato flavor. This one benefited from olive oil and seasonings.

Brandywine: Our favorite tomato from this tasting. Classic tomato taste, not too acidic, very rich flavor. It has a lovely pinkish color but a funky shape. Brandywine’s not a looker, but it sure tastes great. Perfect for slicing on burgers or in a mixed-tomato salad.

What’s your favorite tomato variety? Comment below!

2 thoughts on “Tasting summer tomatoes: part 1.

  1. Cherokee Purple. It’s got a dusky, almost brownish-purply tinge and that “funky” shape that says “this was for sure not bought at a grocery store.” It’s meaty and delicious for eating by the slice with a little salt.