My tomato taste test

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

Hey there everyone. Me, my DH and Looneylinda got together yesterday for a tomato tasting test on a few of the tomatoes that were ripe in my garden. We had a blast slicing up the many tomatoes and trying each one. I thought that many of you would be interested with the results. It was so fun to try out some varieties that I have never tried before and also some that I have loved from years past. I found some new keepers for my tomato garden. Here are the results: ( We rated them by the star system. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst. )


Kellogg's Breakfast: Lissy *** DH **1/2 Looneylinda **

Noir De Crimee: Lissy * DH * LL *

Delicious: Lissy ** DH ** LL **

Bloody Butcher: Lissy **** DH ***1/2 LL ****

Sungold: Lissy ***** DH ***** LL *****

Mortgage lifter (Estlers): Lissy ***** DH **** LL *****

Pink Potato Top: Lissy *** DH *** LL ***

Black Krim: Lissy * DH * LL *

Brandywine Sudduths: Lissy ***** DH ***** LL *****

Marianna's Peace: Lissy ***** DH **** LL ****

Brianna: Lissy **** DH **** LL ****

Cuostralee: Lissy * DH * LL **

Pruden's Purple ( I had a ripe one ready to test and you know what? My dog came along and saw all of these juicy tomatoes sitting on my garden box waiting to be put in a bag. Well, he saw the Pruden's Purple sitting there and just had to take it. That flea bag grabbed it and started eating it. I went over to stop him and he nipped me in the leg. So, LOL according to my dog Blitz, Pruden's Purple is a 5 star tomato. He wasn't about to let me take his juicy Pruden's Pruple away and ate the whole thing!!!)

As you can see there are some keepers and some duds. I am not going to get rid of a variety until I see if it just wasn't this dang heat that we have had here the past month!! I know that may cause some of these tomatoes to have a bland taste. I am hoping to try this again and see am improvement in some of these varieties. Bloody Butcher,Brandywine Sudduths, Mortgage Lifter (Estlers), Sungold, and Brianna were outstanding!! Great flavor.


This message was edited Aug 2, 2007 2:46 PM

Thumbnail by LissyJ
Toledo, OH(Zone 6a)

What fun! Thanks for the ratings! I just have to try the Sun Gold and Brandywine Sudduth next year!

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

What were the comments on the Cuostralee? I had one ripen but my 88 year old aunt got it. Her late husband was French so I had to give it to her. Absolutely spectacular fruit. Nicely fluted. Almost two pounds. She was wowed by it. Was yours just bland? Or too tart? Or was it that the others were so much better? Coustralee is out producing both Marianna's Peace and Earl's Faux for me so I'm hoping the taste is there.

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

David, my Cuostralee was VERY bland and the fruit was not very big at all. I am hoping that they will be better as the season goes on. Last year I noticed that a lot of tomatoes that I didn't like at first were really good later when the weather cooled down. This year it has been REALLY HOT!!! I am sure that has to do with the size and taste of many of my tomatoes. I will definitely do another test later and let you know how things change if at all.

So far my BIG tomatoes have been Brianna, Omar's Lebanese, Kellogg's Breakfast and some Pruden's Purple. I have an Omar's Lebanese that is gigantic. It will be ripe very soon and I will post pictures of this whopper!!

Warren, PA(Zone 5a)

Really interesting results, Lissy, thanks!

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Lissy, nice job on the tasting and pic - Brianna and Sudduth Brandywine are two of my most favorite and I like Mortgage Lifter also. I'll be trying Pink Potato Top, Marianna's Peace and Cuostralee for the first time this fall - we'll see how they do down thisaway.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

LissyJ...goes to show genetics sets the perimeters but within that anything goes. My Kellogg's Breakfast are not big--under a pound. As the photo below shows, only an inch or so more in grith than Noire de Crimee. Cuostralees are huge however.

Thumbnail by David_Paul
Warren, PA(Zone 5a)

Very nice photo, DP. Your "Kellogg's Breakfast" is much more lobed or fluted (or whatever term you prefer) than I would have expected. Adds to the beauty of it in my opinion.

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

Just today I am going to add some other tomatoes for my taste test:

Omar's Lebanese: Lissy **** DH ****

Pruden's Purple: Lissy **** DH ****
* We finally got a tomato from Pruden's purple that my dog didn't snatch first. LOL!! It is one of my favorite tomatoes.

I am waiting to try my Yellow Brandywine, Black Russian, and Soldaki.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

BDale....Kelloggs was great. Had it with grilled salmon and squash last night. Very attractive plate. An unadorned sliced tomato isn't something I would normally think of pairing with salmon but it couldn't have been better. Got another way to rationalize the money I spend on grow-lights, Pro-Mix, starting trays etc---no need for those expensive balsamic vinegars, EVOOs, gray sea salt and sauces.

But then again, there is a 72 hour cold smoked bacon I know of from a little place in Tennessee which would go very, very well with these heirlooms....but if I wait the 5 weeks it takes to get that, it would be a shame not to use EVOO to make my own mayonnaise . . . for that I'll also need quality lemons, fresh white pepper, range free eggs...maybe some watercress and good a shame not to spend the money considering how much I spent on grow-lights, Pro-Mix, starting trays etc...

Warren, PA(Zone 5a)

David Paul, Hahaha! You don't know how much I can relate to that chain of logic. It all sounds supremely reasonable and delicious to me!! :)

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Lissy, I was surprised at some of the ratings.

Is it safe to assume that you knew what the varieties were even cut up?

How did you do your taste testing as in nothing labelled I assume and how much did your DH know about the varieties you were sampling in terms of color and size?

And did Linda know before hand what you'd been growing?

Did you rate just taste or general appearance, flesh consistency or any other traits?

When I used to do my tastings I'd use a number system and there were several different traits listed and always an uncut fruit by each plate of cut up ones. And just to be silly? correct? we'd do it like a wine tasting and have bland crackers and water for folks to use between tasting the different varieties.

But the folks at my tastings in general wouldn't know anything about the varieties as to color, shape or names or anything else about them. ( smile)


Kerhonkson, NY(Zone 5a)

I see Brandywines and Sungolds are at the top of your list -- mine too! I grow them every year and try at least one new variety (I don't have much space and I like a lot of Brandywines and Sungolds!) ... this year I tried Vintage Wine -- only had one so far and not impressed, although the plants are loaded with tomatoes and they are pretty ...
here's a pic ...

I guess I have to try Mortgage Lifter -- does it ripen earlier than Brandywines? I have to wait so long for them here (sigh ...) ...

Thumbnail by crockny
Danbury, CT(Zone 6a)

I want to do a taste test too! Except mine will be blindfolded. Yeah! Because people are driving me crazy with their "tomato must be red" mentality. What do you do with people like that? DH brought some cherry tomatoes to work and most were non-red because that is what is ripe now. Plus, okay, I wanted them to try non-red tomatoes because when I was giving away seedlings, they all took red ones. He said people were overly cautious about tasting them. Asking what does it taste like, etc. Goodness, just pop it in your mouth and you will know! What a bunch of babies. I said to him that I won't send tomatoes in if they aren't going to eat them, just because they aren't red! Waiting for the report today if they ate them, as they were bringing them home.

Okay, I'm done with my rant now. I figured you guys might be able to relate. I still want to do a taste test. And by the way, I DO like red tomatoes too. :)

Hopkinsville, KY

jenhill, yeah I can relate; when I put a Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, etc in a sac to give them, they get sort of strange look; had company last week and one said that she just could not get past the color and would not even try one that wasnt red. She refused to do a blindfold test.

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

We do blind taste tests at least weekly and it's always fun to see how the same tomato will rate in a different test. So far this year the Three Sisters has been the hands down favorite in every test, with Arbat running a close second (though my boss says the latter is too juicy for his taste). He also doesn't care for the sweetness of the Brandywine, and can pick it out every time, even in a sandwich. The Anna Russian has been quite bland so far, as has the Khaborovsky, neither or which has received a top 3 rating in the 4 tests we've had so far. Black Sea Man is just now starting to ripen and has pulled 3rd in the last 2 tests.

Warren, PA(Zone 5a)

Kygreg and Jenhill: Now that is just a tragic waste of good tomatoes (for these folks who insist only on red ones!!) I guess old habits dies hard. I've seen the same reaction too.

I thought people LIKED variety??? There's a famous quote from Henry Ford in the early years of the Ford Motor Company, regarding customer demands about the Model T Ford, I believe: "Tell them they can have any color car they want, as long as it is black."

Maybe you should use the old reverse psychology, huh? Next time the fussy guests arrive, just tell them "We raise a number of outstanding tomatoes, really a gorgeous array of colors, and they taste fantastic!! But we don't allow anybody outside the immediate family to taste anything but the plain red ones. Sorry. I'm sure you understand."

Oh well. No accounting for taste I guess.

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

Carolyn~ We rated them based on taste. I also like a meaty tomato so in my mind, I rated a meaty tomato better. We did know what the variety was before we tested it. Now that I think about it, I want to do what Sequee and jenhillphoto does. A blind taste test. Next time I will do that. How would you rate your tomatoes? what was your numbers system and what different traits would you rate. That sounds interesting and fun!

crockny~ When you get seeds for Mortgage Lifter, make sure that you get the Estlers strain. I tried the regular mortgage lifter last year and didn't like it as well. It was bland. The ML Estlers is a fantastic tomato and is NOT bland has a wonderful sweet taste.

Kerhonkson, NY(Zone 5a)

LissyJ -- thanks for the tip! Nothing worse than a bland tomato...

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Your tomato tasting and the ones Carolyn refers to remind me of another of my hobbies. I'm a homebrewer and I owned a homebrew supply shop for years.

Homebrewers have clubs, national organizations, and local and national competitions. I've judged in many of those, and beers are entered according to category. There's a formal scoresheet and at least three judges tasting each beer - they award it points for color, clarity, mouthfeel, malt, hop aroma, and many other factors.

A winning beer goes through three rounds of judging with different judges each time. Points are added up, and the winners are determined from that. That might be a little more difficult to figure with a tomato tasting, but I bet it could be done. Those subjective qualities you're tasting for could be reduced to numbers.

I saved nine cups of seeds and pulp yesterday, and there's a good white krausen on top today. Fermenting seeds is something else that reminds me of homebrewing, because I understand the process that's going on there. Based on the smell of the fermenting tomatoes, I sure wouldn't want to drink what's in those cups, though. Beer is (hopefully) free of bacteria - and I don't think that's the case here. lol

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

crockny~ When you get seeds for Mortgage Lifter, make sure that you get the Estlers strain. I tried the regular mortgage lifter last year and didn't like it as well. It was bland. The ML Estlers is a fantastic tomato and is NOT bland has a wonderful sweet taste.


And there should be plenty of Mortgage Lifter (Estler) here at DG b/c I sent out seeds for it to quite a few folks here in the Tomato Forum.


Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Lissy, your tomato testing sounds wonderful. Your table makes my mouth water. So far I have had one ripe tomato - Eva Purple Ball - I think. Rather small but really tasty.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

How would you rate your tomatoes? what was your numbers system and what different traits would you rate. That sounds interesting and fun!


Get back to you later on that b'c I just got up from a nap b'c I want to watch Becket with Richard Burton and Peter O Toole tonight. It hasn 't been shown in many years and I just love it, along with THe Lion in Winter. 8 PM Eastern on TCM for any British history fans. ( smile)

Have some stuff to do before I settle down with a dish of Death by Chocolate and Butter Pecan to watch the movie and I do have my priorities. LOL

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

When LissyJ and I met to do the "Great Tomato Taste Off" we were expecting Brandywine Sudduth's to be the best. She had two of them. We ate the biggest one first and it was too ripe--had that "I'm almost rotten" taste to it. We were so disappointed. The smaller one had the good old Brandywine taste. It was wonderful.

I was really disappointed in Kellogg's Breakfast. It looked great, but was way too bland. Next year I will plant Aunt Gertie's Gold instead. I liked it last year, but wanted to try something else. Last year Black Krim was one of the best. We are hoping the one in this year's test was just not quite ripe. The seeds this year were from a different source. I hope that's not the problem.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Ozark . . . I see a brewery in Japan is making a tomato beer--Tomato Bibere.

Ever had it or another one?

Reviews are so-so on it. Bet they use commercial tomatoes. Wonder how lime green salad, black cherry or sungold would be.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I can not believe you did not LOVE that Black Krim. Send them all to my address! Every one of them! Next to the Pruden's....

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

I sampled tomato wine at a Fair and it was very nice. I've heard that the balcks/purples make good wine because they are heartier than most.

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

Gymgirl~ I am hoping that the Black Krim was just not its self because of the heat here lately and the fact that it may not have been quite ripe. I was really disappointed that it didn't taste better. The Pruden's Purple was great! I love that does my dog Blitz. LOL

Carolyn~ I can not believe that you have priorities above the tomato forum. That is just not acceptable. We need you here 24/7. LOL JK!! I can wait for the info because I have a bit until I have more tomatoes that are ripe. If you remember in one of my later posts, I have had a lot of blossom drop because of this heat. Most of the tomatoes I have on the vine are VERY green. When you get the chance I would love to hear how you rate tomatoes.

cockny~ I will have some Mortgage Lifter Estlers seeds for you when I ferment them. ( I got them from Carolyn) THANKS AGAIN!! So far I have been enjoying all the tomatoes that are ripe and not saving any of the seeds. I have quite a few green ones and I will make a point to save a lot of seeds of this variety. It is a great one. Once I have them done I will D-mail you to get your address.

Raeford, NC

If the mortgage lifter is only good with the Estler variety How do we make sure we get that/ Who sells those and do they say that on them? Deanna

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

I got my seeds from Carolyn last year. I know that Looneylinda found a place that has Mortgage Lifter Estlers but I am not sure where she got them. I will have to find out and let you know. If you start looking on Google. just look for Mortgage Lifter Estlers strain. Carolyn could tell you about each strain if you are interested.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

deann, I didn't Google any sources, but last I knew there was only ONE place that sold seeds for the Estler strain and that was Chuck Wyattt's old site at heirloomtomatoes,net

However, I simply cannot recommend that site for seeds since Chuck's passing.

My seeds for the Estler were fromn Chuck many years ago and I've sent, as I said above, seed to many DG members here in the forum.

The Estler family has a prior claim to the variety Mortgage Lifter than does Charlie Byles of WV, aka Radiator Charlie.

So any place where ML is listed if it isn't IDed specifically as the Estler strain it means that they don't know what they have, or more likely, it isn't the Estler strain.

Same thing applies to Brandywine in that many prefer the Sudduth/Quisenberry strain as I do, and if a place doesn't ID it as that strain then they don't know what they have in terms of strain specificity.


Kerhonkson, NY(Zone 5a)

Carolyn and LissyJ -- I would love some seeds from one of you of the Mortgage Lifter Estler strain and also if you have any Brandywine Sudduth/Quisenberry -- I'm not entirely sure which brandywine I planted this year -- pretty sure it's Sudduth but I'm not familiar with the other name -- anyway I bought it at Adams Fairacre Farms ...

If you have any to spare ... my lips are begging you (mmm mmm mmm) ...

Stansbury Park, UT(Zone 6a)

Crockny~ You have D-mail!!!

Hopkinsville, KY

LissyJ- put my request in, will be happy to send an SASE

Kerhonkson, NY(Zone 5a)

Thanks LissyJ - I D-mailed you!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Lissy or Carolyn,

I do not grow too many tomatoes, but sure would like to have a couple plants of the Mortgage Lifter. Just a few seeds, please. I have heard a local "Gardening Guru" speak of this Tomato. .

I will be happy to trade seeds from some other plants OR just send you postage. I have all kinds of seeds......Nothing Earth-shattering, but flowering stuff--the more unusual to the average gardener.

Thanks, Gita

Waaaay Down South, GA

Lissy or Carolyn,

Please add my name to the list for both Morguage and Brandy Wine ... pleeeease? I have some tomato seeds I'll be glad to exchange ... or will be happy to do a SASBE as well. I'm like Gita, and am sure they're probably not earth shattering, but will give you a list if you'll Dmail me should you be interested. Thanks! :)

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

If all goes well--and not much has this year--I will also have Mortgage Lifter's Estler's Strain. Carolyn sent the seeds to me. Just to do a comparison I also bought some from I gave that tomato away, but will be able to do a taste test with it because it went to a friend where I work.

Right now my Estler's has a lot of green tomatoes. I had a lot of blossom drop earlier too because of the heat.

In Lissy's tomato taste test I LOVED Estler's. It was far superior to the regular Mortgage Lifter I purchased from TGS last year.

At, the owner says the Mortgage Lifter Red was Chuck Wyatt's favorite so I have one of those plants. Right now it has far fewer tomatoes on it than Carolyn's Estler's.

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