Tomato Taste Test - British style
Rare bobwhite in our Pennsylvania garden

Tomato taste test - American style

'Sungold', one of the top tasting tomatoes in both the US and UK taste tests. Image ©Jacquie Gray/RHS
In my last post here, I looked at a British tomato taste test featuring tomatoes grown in the glasshouse of a large seed company in Oxfordshire in England. This time, we cross the Atlantic to Morningsun Herb Farm, a retail and mail order herb and vegetable nursery about 50 miles north west of San Francisco.

Their annual tomato tasting days began back in 2003 so they have a fascinating record of visitors’ favorites for flavor. For their 10th annual Tomato Day, last year, ninety three varieties were tasted by a large throng of visitors.

The hybrid tomato 'Sweet Chelsea' tasted better than many heirlooms ©Sakata SeedsTop of the tree came ‘Sun Sugar’, with ‘Sungold’ in second place – ‘Sungold’ also came second in the British test. These were followed by ‘Brandywine Sudduth’, ‘Sweet Chelsea’, ‘Rosalita’ and in sixth place ‘Matt’s Wild Cherry’. You can check the full list on the Morningsun Herb Farm website. In 2011 the top three were ‘Sun Sugar’, ‘Sungold’ and ‘Isis Candy’ followed by ‘Oaxacan Jewel’ and ‘Blush’ with ‘Snow White Cherry’, ‘Super Sweet 100’ and ‘Yellow Cherokee’ all equal. The voting was very close. But it’s worth mentioning that back in 2007 almost every singe person rated ‘Sun Sugar’ as “superb”. 'Sun Sugar', voted best tasting in the Morninsun Herb  Farm tomato taste test last year. Image ©Morningsun Herb Farm

So, in general, ‘Sun Sugar’ (cherry) and ‘Sungold’ (cherry) both of which scored exceptionally well every year, seem the most dependable tasty.

As with the British results, the varieties that did well were a mixture of modern hybrid varieties and older heirloom types. But, unlike the British taste test, all the voting took place on one day instead of being spread over a number of weeks. This is probably gives a fairer picture.

I should also mention that a couple of years ago New York magazine carried out their own very interesting tomato taste test involving two top New York chefs and an heirloom tomato expert.

Comments

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Diane C

I'm glad you included that Times article. While I like cherry tomatoes for salads, it's nice to hear qualities of ones I would use for cooking as well.

Graham Rice

Yes Diane... It would be really good to get more impartial taste verdicts for varieties for slicing for sandwiches, for juice and for other uses.

plant nurseries

Ya this American style of tasting tomatoes seems to be more fair than the British one! I have read that post too! So as per results Sun Sugar(cherry) and Sungold(cherry) are winners! Great!

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