Facts are facts. The maritime Pacific northwest is not tomato country. 2010 has been far worse than most years with abundant early summer, record-setting rain fall and temperatures that struggled to reach “room temp” in the garden. We who are slightly daft set tender green sprouts into the chilly wet soil, trusting the creator to give us a successful year… or at least a few tomatoes for our salad if not the pantry. My Everett, Washington garden produces lettuces in wild abundance, all kinds of peas, strawberries, rasp and blue berries, apples and cherries, green beans and onions. Hot days are heavily scented with the many shades of lavender and mint. But tomatoes? All the stars have to line up and the clouds need to drift away before I can pluck a tomato. Still I try.
Just when I was ready to give up, a beautiful red tomato was found hidden deep in the bush that is Siletz. I have never read of Siletz being a wonderful tomato, just that it comes early even in the cold PNW. Trust me, August 15 is sort of early around here.
From Territorial Seed Company
70-75 days. Siletz is one of the most reliable slicing tomatoes you can grow. Coming in just ahead of Oregon Spring, with a nice flush of 4-5 inch deep red fruit that weigh 7-10 ounces. The flavor-packed red tomatoes are nearly seedless. Expect several bursts of ripe tomatoes as the season progresses. Vigorous determinate plants are parthenocarpic. Bred by Dr. Jim Baggett of Oregon State University. F1, V.
Eye Appeal score card
Size I wish I had weighed this before I cut it up. It is a nice handful, it will probably take about 4 overlapping slices to fill a sandwich.
Shape A squat globe. Nice smooth sides.
Color Siletz is a bright classic tomato red right to the stem. Ripens evenly without green shoulders.
Inside Very little gel. Nice pinkish red
Texture The meaty interior looks like it will be mealy but is actually quite smooth.
Fresh off the vine There is very little acid, nice mouth feel.
Sliced and salted I generally prefer tomatoes unsalted but because there is not a lot to this early tomato, salting does slightly improve my enjoyment of Siletz.
Cooking thoughts I am going to try this one as a roasted salsa. The low gel to meat content might make this good for sauce but I will need to get back on that. Siletz is pretty in a salad but did not assert itself.
Will Deb grow this one again?