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Cherokee Purple Tomato

Does anyone else sing “Cherokee Nation” every time they think of this tomato? Of course you have to sing it, “Cherokee Purple! Cherokee Pri-ide! So proud to live! So proud to dine!”

These are a unique tomato: I’m still not sure if they are actually a “Black” tomato or not! They don’t quite have the characteristic burgundy outer coloring of other blacks, as they are much more pink. It’s probably safe to say they are only black on the inside–since there is Cherokee Chocolate that has the darker burgundy skin of other blacks. Cherokee Green also exists for those who like green-when-ripe types (me! me!). And there’s also Spudakee, for those who prefer potato-leaved plants (not me!).

The Description from where I got my seed:

Very productive plants bear loads of 10 to 12 oz. dusky rose/purple fruit with deep brick red interiors. The tomatoes are absolutely delicious with a pleasantly sweet and rich flavor. With thin skin and soft flesh, the fruit is somewhat perishable, but they taste so good they will be eaten quickly anyhow. Heirloom from Tennessee. Indeterminate. 80 days

Cherokee Purple tomato makes amazingly meaty slices!

First Impressions:
My first tomato of this type is a siamese twin with two distinct lobes with lots of scar tissue in between. It was from a megabloom, so it is probably against type. Later tomatoes will be much more round in shape.

When I sliced it open (after carefully removing the scar tissue), I was very surprised by how juicy, how deeply colored, and how very meaty the slices look. They actually look like beef cutlets on my plate! Beautiful!

My Taste Review:
Yummm! Biting into these slices is oh so good! They are incredibly balanced, even for the first tomato off the vine. They are soft textured and very juicy, with skin that’s a bit thick but acceptable. Very smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of sweetness and sour. They do taste a bit watered down, however.

On a sandwich: We had these with my newest favorite sandwich, the turkey BLT (aka turkey club). They were very good! A bit juicy (drippy), but the tomato’s sweetness was enhanced with the contrasting salty and savory flavors of the turkey, cheese and bacon.

Plant Growth & Health:
This is where the bad news comes in. These plants are already supposed to be shorter than other indeterminates, and they are. But they are also scrawny and they were the first to start to get yellowing of the lower leaves (common mid to late season here). Then there was the fruit set. I’ve got one fruit growing on each of two plants. So two fruits. Two. And I just ate one.

That means fruit set is terrible during the crucial month of July–also the hottest month of the year. Terrible.

Will I grow again?
I don’t know. The fruit set is so bad, and other tomatoes taste just as good or better with better plant health and fruit set. I’m saving seed to keep my options open, but I will probably just hold on to the seeds for trading with.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________83_____________3________12__________6

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This is my first new variety of the season. I loved Green Giant tomatoes so much, I decided to try out another green-when-ripe type. This one is different than Green Giant in that it has amber skin when ripe, making judging when one is ripe a much easier task. This first tomato was from a megabloom. My other megablooms fell off due to blossom drop, but this one survived and made the first ripe tomato of the year.

This is the largest tomato I've ever grown. It's also one of the earliest: 1lb 14 oz in 65 days!

The Description from where I got my seed:

 The translated name means “Malachite Box,” named after the lovely green boxes that are made from this mineral that comes from the Ural mountains and other areas. This early, light-to-olive green, medium-sized tomato has succulent bright green flesh that is very flavorful and tasty. Plants are productive even in the north, as this variety was developed at Svetlana Farm in Russia, and it has been tested in Siberia! Our grower likes to make a unique green ketchup from this variety. 70-85 days

First Impressions:
I was surprised by how beautiful this tomato is. I picked it at the first sign of amber but let it sit out a few days before we had a chance to eat it. The skin continued to turn colors, until I finally sliced it open. It is mottled light green, dark green, light yellow, amber and light orange in mottled stripes and swirls. Very unique looking.

Upon slicing it open, I was again surprised by how darned juicy it was! Juice was pouring out with just the slightest pressure of my knife. The tomato flesh is incredibly meaty with little space for seeds and gel.

The inside of the tomato is a pale green and is very meaty.

My taste review:
O.M.G! My taste buds might be dulled from a long tomato abstinance but this tomato tastes so good! It is perky with a slight acidic taste, but a subtle fruitiness too. A balanced flavor. I’m curious if later tomatoes will taste sweeter. On a sandwich: we had cheeseburgers with slices of this tomato and it was the most delicious hamburger I’ve had this year. It was so juicy and perky I was so glad I put on two slices, he he.

Plant Growth & Health:
I grew two of these plants and they were the first seedlings to take off and become big healthy plants. With one other variety, I’d say these were the happiest tomato plants in the garden. They have no disease and very little leaf curl. And the tomatoes didn’t split even after a heavy 3″ rainfall. After the megabloom, I only got one other fruit on that plant and 3 fruits on the other. However all my plants are suffering from blossom drop and have very few fruits overall. We’ll see how many I end up with at the end of the season.

Will I grow again?
Yes. I have a soft spot in my heart for green-when-ripe types. I took a risk growing this type over Green Giant and I’m glad I did. They are healthy happy plants, and make beautiful fruits that are just delicious. I’m not sure yet if I’ll use them in cooking due to their color, so we’ll see.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__2____________65____________-5________31__________15

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