Amazing Additions For “Tantalizing Tomato” Lovers
I’ve got some uncommonly colorful and outlandish varieties of tomato to share with you! I’ve got ‘em in black, white, yellow, green – and even in zebra colors – plus one that is just plain weirdly shaped.
These are not just randomly occurring mutants – they are rare varieties that have been bred to thrive well in their specific locations around the world.
You may have heard of a few of these tomatoes – but, I bet that most of them are new to you. And, they will pique your curiosity when it comes to taste and growing possibilities.
Just about all of these tomatoes are heirlooms and / or organic – no pesticides used.
Go to my “how to grow tomatoes” page for all the ins and outs to successfully create top quality ‘mators in your garden!
So, let’s get on with it, then…
Even though this variety is called, “Cherokee Purple”, the skins are a very dark purple – almost black. I am told it was handed down from Cherokee Indian gardeners living in Tennessee. The flesh is a dark auburn red.
The sweet, smoky flavors will linger in your mouth a little longer than most other tomatoes. Large, indeterminate tomatoes – 5 inches wide and over 3 inches tall – develop on huge vines. The closest tomato for comparison taste would be a Brandywine.
Ripening, these 1 inch perfectly round cherry tomatoes go from the standard green to a dark reddish brown with a blackish tinge. They are low acid – with a sweet, smoky taste. The late Vince Sapp bred these in Florida and, they grew quickly in popularity across the U.S.A.
These indeterminate tomatoes are best found in packs of 30 seeds from Burpee.
Black From Tula tomatoes have a salty, smoky flavor. These are Ukrainian heirloom tomatoes that grow 4 to 5 inches wide – weighing about three-quarters of a pound – and, they are considered one of the largest in the black tomato group.
Hailing from Russia’s Isle of Krim – in the Black Sea – this tomato is another indeterminate variety of the group of black tomatoes. Colors range from dark reddish purple to completely black with some hints of green or brown.
This is a difficult tomato to describe. At times, the taste is sweet – with a slight saltiness. Other times, it seems salty – with a slight sweetness. I guess it depends on what I’m drinking – and what my mouth is expecting. But, either way, their flavor is very powerful!
Averaging a half to three-quarters of a pound, I find that Marde Ross & Company is the most reliable Black Krim seed supplier.
These are very round, deep maroon tomatoes – from the heart of Russia – that have taste hints of pineapple and other tropical fruits. I love these sliced and sitting on top of a juicy cheeseburger or adorning a salad!
Mature fruit averages half a pound – but, they can easily reach a full pound before you know it!
Frozen Seed Capsules is the place I go for these gems. Black Sea Man seeds come in packs of 20 – and are truly rare, organic, heirloom seeds!
All of these black tomatoes will grow well in most gardens – in the standard tomato growing hardiness zones.
For a sneak peek into each of them, try the 5 pack Black Tomato Seed Collection from Seed Needs. You will get packs of Cherokee Purple, Black Cherry, Black From Tula, Black Krim, and Black Sea Man. Four of the packs contain 25 seeds each and the fifth pack contains about 20 seeds. They are billed as some of the ugliest tomatoes available – but, also some of the tastiest!
This is a beautiful one inch diameter – white – or, sometimes creamy, light yellow – indeterminate tomato with tons of flavor! They will literally melt in your mouth as you enjoy their mild tasting, juicy sweetness!
I choose Burpee for their packs of 30 Italian Ice Tomato Seeds.
These pale yellow heirlooms have a mildly sweet and fruity flavor with a hint of a tomato acid tang. These determinate tomatoes mature into 3 to 4 inch diameter beauties – and are considered one of the best tasting yellow tomatoes on the planet!
I buy Candy’s Old Yellow seeds in a set of 5 packs – 25 seeds in each pack.
This tomato certainly is an exception to “duck theory” – you know – walks like a duck – talks like a duck – must be a duck. Because, it looks like a pear – but, it is a tomato – and tastes like a tomato.
This small, indeterminate heirloom has a mild, tangy flavor – perfect for making tomato preserves and hors d’oeuvres at a summer shindig.
Check out Burpee – for the best Yellow Pear Tomato seeds – a full packet of 100 seeds.
Say what? Zebra tomatoes??? Is there such a thing?
Well sho’ ‘nuff, cupcake! And, here they are – lots of Zebra tomato types:
The skin is very dark purple / mahogany – with dark green streaks. The flesh is a warm, burgundy. And, the flavor? Ah, the flavor! Picture this – subtle hints of smoky sweetness – typical of the black tomato group – of which this baby is an offshoot.
Packs of 15 Black Zebra seeds are available from Hirts Seed.
These are bright green tomatoes with cute yellow stripes rounding out to between 1.5 and 2.5 inches wide. The juicy flesh has a very typical tomato flavor that is both sweet and tart when ripe.
I have 2 trusted sources for Green Zebra tomatoes:
Burpee – with packets of 25 seeds each.
Stonysoil Seed Company – who hand pack their packets of 30+ seeds “with heart and care.”
Red Zebras are cherry red with light yellow / orange streaks. The flesh is a bit darker red – almost maroon. Producing a characteristically tart taste, these colorful indeterminates are supposedly a naturally occurring marriage between a Green Zebra and some other unknown type of red tomato – and mature to between 2 and 3 inches wide.
Burpee’s Red Zebra packets of 30 seeds promise to produce copious, high yielding plants.
This is actually called a “Hillbilly Heirloom Yellow Slicing Tomato.”
I probably could have just put this one under “yellow tomatoes” but, with its yellowish orange skin and red streaked flesh, I decided to include it in the list of Zebra tomatoes.
The unique flavor is uncommonly sweet – to the point of being fruity – with hints of apricot. Being very low acid, crack resistant and very heat tolerant, makes this tomato a good choice for “hillbilly” gardens like mine. The indeterminate vines can get up to 10 feet high if you let them! Make sure you have a sturdy trellis for them!
These monsters out of the hills of West – by God – Virginia – can get up to 2 pounds – imagine that!
I get my Hillbilly Heirloom 30 seed packets from Burpee.
I just had to add this one to the list:
Originating on Santorini Island – in Greece – this tiny thick skinned super sweet cherry tomato is famous throughout Europe. They say that their unique taste is due to the abnormal growing conditions on the island. I say, the taste is made by any gardener who grows them ‘mators – and, I’m living proof of it!
Referred to – locally – as “Tomataki”, Santorini tomatoes look more like little red cherries than tomatoes – they are so small. When tourists are told that they are indeed tomatoes, they think that the Greek residents on the island are pulling their leg!
PlenTree is my go-to place for Santorini Tomato seeds – 5 packs – each containing 25 seeds.
Special Combination Pack
Seed Needs has a bonus offer that they call their Rainbow Tomato Mixture – featuring more than a dozen unique and rare varieties of tomato seeds. Actually, it’s one more than a “baker’s dozen.” (Hint: Since a baker’s dozen is “13”, one more than that would be 14.)
- Ace 55
- Black From Tula
- Black Krim
- Black Sea Man
- Cherokee Purple
- German Hohnson
- Pink Brandywine
- Red Brandywine
- Red Cherry
- Red Zebra
- Tiny Tim
- Yellow Brandywine
- Yellow Pear
This combo pack gives you a colorful mixture of tomatoes in red, green, brown, yellow, and multi-colored versions.
Whew! That surely was a pile of tomatoes to gander at! What did you think? I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them – and growing them!
Comment below or email me if you’ve a mind to!