Heirloom Tomatoes Review

Heirloom Tomatoes Review

heirloom tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes

Variety Is The Spice of Life

These 4 heirloom tomatoes all have their own distinct tastes. I think it’s crazy cool how each variety has it’s own flavor. As you can see in each tag, they all have unique maturity dates and fruit sizes. 

Fast Fact: Did you know that the scientific name for tomato, Lycopersicon lycopersicum, means “wolf peach”? 

The goal of this article is to talk about the flavors of each variety. We will also be addressing the characteristics of how each plant has grown, at least in my experience. 

In order to get more feedback than my own, I asked my wife and her mom to taste each one. We tasted them plain and also slightly salted to bring out the flavors.

Then we wrote down any flavors that stood out, giving each a rating between 1 and 5 with 5 being best. At the end we ranked them 1 through 4 in order of our personal favorites, with 1 being our favorite and 4 being our least favorite.

Growing Factors

Each one of these tomato plants was grown in it’s own self watering bucket. They are made very simply with two 5 gallon buckets, a piece of PVC pipe and a wicking cup. 

This video will show you how to make them. It took me about an hour and a half total, including clean up, to make 5 of these self watering buckets. 4 of which were used to grow the heirloom tomatoes being reviewed. 

One huge advantage to these buckets is that you can add plant food to them. That way the heirloom tomatoes can feed well for a few days before more water needs to be added again. I personally used Miracle Grow plant food… the blue stuff. 

'Old German'

Heirloom Tomatoes

This is my personal favorite of the heirlooms we grew this year. The fruit size averages about the size of a tennis ball, or slightly smaller.

If you read its tag above, you will see that the fruit size is approximately 1 lb. This seems accurate.

The plant itself isn’t very big, nor would I describe it as a prolific grower. Ours didn’t fruit very much. Maybe that has to do with where it was placed. It was between some other plants and may have been slightly light starved. 

If you think this variety is up your alley, consider more than one plant.

Colors and Flavors

Heirloom Tomatoes

The ‘Old German’ has a light red, almost orange color once it ripens. 

Once sliced, its definitely more orange than red. There’s almost a sunburst appearance to the colors. 

The flavors were described as: 

“Sweet and earthy; slightly tangy with a mild overall flavor.” My mother in law said it tasted like candy.

This is definitely the sweetest of all the heirloom tomatoes we grew. A little salt with the sweetness is a real treat.

Ratings

The ratings from 1 through 5 were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 4

Mother in Law: …………. 5

Me: …………………………….. 5

The “Favorites” order (1 through 4) were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 3

Mother in Law: …………. 3

Me: …………………………….. 1

'Pineapple'

Heirloom Tomatoes

This tomato has a neat little horn on it, although this is the only time it has happened.

I’m not sure if something happened in the bottom of the self watering bucket, but this plant has seemed to never need water. Every time I went to top it off, it was practically full from the last time.

The plant has also been very thin compared to the other heirloom tomatoes. Not much growth, and skinny stalks.

However, this tomato is about 1 & 1/2 times the size of the ‘Old German’. So despite it seeming to be a smaller plant, it still produced good sized fruit. 

Colors and Flavors

Heirloom Tomatoes

As you can see, this is a very classically red tomato. Upon slicing, that beautiful red hue permeates the whole fruit.

The flavors were described as: 

“Tangy! Almost has a bite to it. Kind of acidic. Definitely has a slight taste of pineapple.”

When I first tried it, I was taken back a little. It was almost tart. But the flavor is impressive. Who would have guessed that a tomato could taste like a pineapple?!

This ranked #1 as my wife and her mom’s favorites.

Ratings

Heirloom Tomatoes

The ratings from 1 through 5 were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 5

Mother in Law: …………. 5

Me: …………………………….. 4

The “Favorites” order (1 through 4) were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 1

Mother in Law: …………. 1

Me: …………………………….. 3

'German Johnson'

Heirloom Tomatoes

Okay, this plant got HUGE! Each plant was surrounded by a tomato cage and this one out-grew it in a very short time. 

In fact, one of the main stalks fell over and nearly broke. But it is still going strong. Seriously, this plant has grown like a weed.

About a month ago I took a cutting from a sucker that got too big and stuck it in a small pot by itself, watering regularly. It has already grown a foot and is beginning to fruit. 

The ‘German Johnson’ has also produced the biggest fruit of all the heirloom tomatoes by far. 

Colors and Flavors

Heirloom Tomatoes

As a whole tomato, its color is not quite as deep of a red as the ‘Pineapple’. It is slightly lighter in hue.

The two sliced pieces in the picture that have more white in them were closer to the stem. The texture of those parts is a little more firm, but still very edible.

Flavors were described as:

“Robust but mild. Very flavorful and juicy.”

Personally I thought this tomato tasted very much the way one would imagine a tomato to taste.

Chances are we will be growing this again.

Ratings

Heirloom Tomatoes

The ratings from 1 through 5 were: 

Wife: …………………………. 3

Mother in Law: …………. 5

Me: …………………………….. 5

The “Favorites” order (1 through 4) were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 4

Mother in Law: ………….. 2

Me: ………………………………. 2

'Green Zebra'

Heirloom Tomatoes

The ‘Green Zebra’ is definitely the most unique looking of our heirloom tomatoes this year.

At first I wasn’t sure if it was ripe or not because it’s still green on top. But rest assured, it was plenty ripe.

As far as plant growth goes, I would describe its stalk size and growth rate as pretty much standard for a tomato plant. It never got huge or anything. 

It’s fruit is close to the size of the ‘Old German’, about a tennis ball. The plant itself didn’t get too much taller than the ‘Old German’ did either.

Colors and Flavors

Heirloom Tomatoes

The colors are very earthy and dark. In the center it’s still just as red as any other tomato. But the outside is dark green. 

The green seems to be present throughout the entire tomato once cut. Even though it doesn’t appear that way from the outside.

Flavors were described as:

“Not very sweet; kind of acidic. Also kind of tangy.” 

If sweet isn’t your gig and you like your tomatoes to taste earthy and tangy, this is for you. My wife liked it second best of all.

Ratings

Heirloom Tomatoes

The ratings from 1 through 5 were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 4

Mother in Law: …………. 3

Me: …………………………….. 3

The “Favorites” order (1 through 4) were: 

Wife: ………………………….. 2

Mother in Law: …………. 4

Me: …………………………….. 4

Conclusion

Out of all the heirloom tomatoes we grew this season, it seems that the ‘Green Zebra’ was consistently lower on everyone’s list. However, don’t let that deter you from growing them if you liked the idea of the flavors mentioned.

Not everyone likes the same things, and I am grateful to have the opinions of my wife and her mom as input for this post. My favorite was very low on the list for my wife, and visa versa. 

Hopefully this review can help you make a decision on what to plant in your own garden. If it did, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

Until next time, this is Luke from Grow To Save signing off.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Love the variety and testing methods! Great pictures of the ‘mater meat also. Your descriptions are excellent as well. You make me really miss planting my winter crop (we just aren’t moved in enough yet).

    1. Thank you! I know what you mean. There’s a lot of times I wish I could keep things going year-round up here. Like my peppers. So much effort goes into them but as soon as it freezes, they’re done. 🙁 If it wasn’t for the freezes they’d last a few seasons.

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