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American seed catalogs offer literally hundreds of tomato varieties but the catalogs don’t always reveal which ones have really great flavor. But now, thanks to the extraordinary work of Amy Goldman in her book The Heirloom Tomato, we have a source for a comprehensive flavor ratings of 200 heirloom varieties, all grown in the same location. Below is a list of the 56 heirloom tomatoes that Goldman rates as having “excellent” flavor. And she tells us what she means by “excellent”: “Scarcely equaled in texture of flesh and richness of flavor. Distinctive, delicious, deep and complex, with luscious, rich flavor. Savory, mouth-filling, and juicy. No grave faults. Finely balanced sugar-acid ratio yet endowed with intense flavor. Extremely desirable.”
In describing, evaluating and photographing such a large number of tomatoes in such a beautifully produced book, Goldman has done gardeners an unprecedented service. Plus, she’s included an outstanding selection of recipes to help us make the most of our tomato harvests. The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table was a classic the day it was published. Order your copy here.
Heirloom Tomatoes Rated as Having Excellent Flavor
From The Heirloom Tomato, by Amy Goldman
Currants & Cherries
Pears & Plums
To find seed sources for these varieties, visit our Seed Finder.
Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on Google+.