Grandma’s Pick came to Everett in a six-pack of different Roma Tomatoes for the 2012 season of the Toy Box. I have no idea how she happened to find her way into the box of plants I ordered.
Until that moment I had not even heard of Grandma’s Pick. Every other tomato in the box was some kind of Roma. I intended to trial different cooking tomatoes, expecting to find green tomatoes that would ripen on the sideboard for fall and early winter use. What I did not want was a hybrid salad tomato. This spring (2013) I purposely included a pack of Grandma’s on my TSC order. It turned out that Grandma is a good green tomato (we happen to like fried green tomatoes) and ripens to a pretty red as October turns into November.
The 2013 season is nothing like 2012 in Everett. I don’t think that I had to run the AC or the hose during the summer of 2012. In 2013 I have to run both hose and AC nearly every day. The garden picture above shows the first ripe Grandma’s for 2012 in September. It is late July of 2013 and I have already picked an apron full of Grandma’s Pick. Here is her score.
75-80 days. Heirloom flavor with hybrid production, uniformity, and disease resistance. Grandma’s Pick has an old time look with attractive, large, squat, pleated fruit averaging 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches tall. Their color is a striking orange/red on the shoulders that deepens to bright red at the bottom. Healthy, indeterminate plants yield plentiful harvests of these robust, slightly sweet fruit with a rich, true tomato flavor. Grandma’s Pick boasts a high lycopene content. Excellent field holding capacity. V, F1, N, St.
1. Eye Appeal
- Size “Salad” A nice handful with a small stem scar.
- Shape Round to slightly flattened with ruffles.
- Color Orange to deep red. The darker tomato came from the green house. The orange fruit grew outside.
- Inside Red flesh with small but numerous gel cavities. Abundant seeds. Too bad it is a hybrid because the seed would be easy to harvest.
- Texture Smooth. No obvious difference between gel and flesh in my mouth. The core is fleshy instead of woody.
- Fresh off the Vine I know that I am eating a tomato because it looks like a tomato, it chews like a tomato, but I am underwhelmed. After the first bite my mind wandered. It was not until I started to swallow and felt the acid on the back of my tongue that I realized I would need a 2nd taste. I almost needed a third. This seemed like a very bland tomato on the tongue with an acid after taste. On the other hand, Ray’s first reaction was, “Oh! This is really good!” I thought he was just being nice. I grew up loving my grandma’s home-grown (home being the black, rich soil of Whidbey Island) garden tomatoes. He says that all of his came from the grocery store. Two different standards for “good”
- Sliced and salted We both agreed that salt did not improve the flavor though it did dull the strong acid taste on the back of the tongue. Ray liked it better with salt. I like tomatoes without salt. It was a toss-up.
- Cooking thoughts This is a silky, wet tomato. She is probably better for soup then sauce (I like more body to my sauce then my soup). I thought it was too bland to cube for omelets, Ray thought it would be really good in an omlet. It might be too wet to slice and add to a pizza. However, I remember thinking Grandma’s Pick was excellent as a fried green tomato. When the green fruit was picked in late autumn to ripen in the house, mixed with other tomatoes it made delicious fall, even winter soup and sauce. Grandma’s Pick added a depth of color and silky texture to the pot.
Will Deb Grow this one again?
Yes Not because of her ripe summer qualities but because of how good she is picked green and either fried or left to ripen before cooking. Besides, I went ahead and bought a package of expensive hybrid seed this year.