Best Tasting Tomatoes

By Abby Lapides
Sugar Creek Gardens

One of the greatest joys of gardening is picking a fresh tomato off the vine and taking a big bite. My favorites:

SUN SUGAR – Voted #1 Best Tasting Tomato at the Missouri State Fair. Some say ‘Sun Sugar’ tomato is the world’s sweetest tomato. Abun-dant, candy-sweet orange cherry tomatoes, with high levels of sugar and vitamin A, appear for months. Each 1/2-1” tomato bursts with rich flavor, the perfect combination of sweet and tart. This vigorous grower will produce hoards of tasty fruits from summer until frost. One of the absolute best cherry tomatoes, its delightful fruits are fantastic for snacking, salads, and recipes where you are looking to add bright color. Multiple award winner.

SAN MARZANO – Favored by chefs and gourmet cooks the world over, ‘San Marzano’ plum tomatoes are coveted for their pear-shaped sweet fruit. With an intense, complex flavor and low acidity, they taste superb in sauces and slow-roasted recipes. These plum tomatoes are firm and meaty with few seeds. The best-known paste tomato! Its long, blocky, 4 to 6-oz. fruits are easy to seed, leaving plenty of meat for a first-class paste or sauce. ‘San Marzano’ is also delicious canned or dried and is fantastic for pizza, slicing, sandwiches, salads and salsas. ‘San Marzano’ grows vigorously, producing great yields of rich, sweet fruit. An Italian heirloom variety.

CHEROKEE PURPLE – One of the most popular heirloom tomatoes, ‘Cherokee Purple’ produces rich flavored, deep red to dusky rose, 8-12 oz. fruit. Its complex flavor is well balanced and full. A large beefsteak style tomato, ‘Cherokee Purple’s’ texture is dense and juicy. Fantastic in salads, sliced with a touch of basil, or on its own. ‘Cherokee Purple’ tomato stands up to humidity and diseases better than other dark varieties. Legend says it was grown by the native American Cherokee Indians of Tennessee before 1890.

ROSELLA PURPLE – Now everyone can enjoy home grown tomatoes, even where space is limited. ‘Rosella Purple’ is a member of the Super Dwarf Tomatoes, a group that produce full size fruit on small 3-4’ plants. Ideal for patio containers or small-space gardening, ‘Rosella Purple’ provides intensely flavorful fruit that rivals the top favorite ‘Cherokee Purple’ but on dwarf plants. An easy-to-care-for sturdy, productive tomato, its fruit features a rich deep purple exterior and rich crimson interior. Just like ‘Cherokee Purple’ its 6-12 oz. flavorful fruit is adored for its dense, juicy texture. Fantastic for all tomato recipes or on its own.

Come visit us at Sugar Creek Gardens for these tomato varieties and more, plus all your garden needs. See more at www.sugarcreekgardens.com. Sugar Creek Gardens, 1011 N. Woodlawn, Kirkwood, MO 63122. 314-965-3070.