These are the ‘Black Russian’ tomatoes I have been trialling for Which? Gardening, and unlike a typical tomato which will clearly change from green to red when ripe I was unsure when to pick these, although the picture on the packet showed a dirty red colour. Most of the trusses are still distinctly green, but these have suddenly taken on a bit of a blush. Two larger tomatoes in a different truss have begun to go mouldy, as their bulging skins have been rubbing against each other, no doubt sweating a little in the heat of the summer. I didn’t want these to go the same way and as you can see one has begun to split, so they were picked today. The larger mouldy ones weighed around 8oz each, but these two were a little over 4oz. Now for the taste test:
Hmm…. quite watery, but fleshy too; a slight tang and a gently sweet aftertaste. It has certainly been interesting to grow with a good germination rate, nice sturdy plants and some unusual compound flowers, but would I grow it again and buy the seeds myself (although I could of course keep seeds from these)? They would probably be better used where their size is important or useful, such as grilled or in a sauce or in chutney. Now that’s a thought…. if I use 2lbs of tomatoes at a time for my tomato chutney (and 6 batches of this quantity to see me through the year), just think how much quicker it would be to skin 4 Black Russians than a heap of Gardeners’ Delight!