Black Tomatoes

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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Westi
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Black Tomatoes

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:28 pm

I have grown some of those James Wong black tomatoes - & boy are they black & shiny, but have been since they set. They have never been really hard except when very small, just having just a slight give as they grew & still have that. As I don't have the obvious color to tell me they are ready, I think obviously the calyx will change somehow - can anyone tell me what to look for? Some have the tips turning up but it is still very green & healthy looking - is this ready or should it brown off a bit?

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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:47 pm

Can only hazard a guess Westi. I have only very occasionally seen Black tomatoes for sale in a speciality outlet and the skins were pretty much the same colour as dark aubergines if I remember correctly. I didn't realise the Black variety were black from the moment they first formed. I thought the skins probably darkened from green gradually until they were ripe. If they will "give" a little bit, I suspect they are probably ready.

I have a couple of Black Russian plants growing but the fruits on these are green. It's several years since I last grew them and I seem to remember they just develop a blackish shading over parts of the skin so when mine I are a little more developed I'll probably be asking myself the same question!

Do post back and report on their flavour once you've eaten it.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Westi » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:43 pm

Hi Primrose

I grew Black Russian as well, but these have surprised me with the intensity of color. The first flush were black from the start but the ones coming now are green. Can't wait to taste them, I buy a box of mixed toms from Lidl from time to time out of season & their black ones are more brown but very tasty.

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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:58 pm

They really are black arn't they?
When I first looked at them I thought they were round aubergines.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Geoff » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:05 pm

I've only grown Black Cherry and they go from green to dark rather than the pure black of your photo but it is easy to tell when they are ready. We like the flavour, picked the first a couple of days ago.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:49 am

They are very black aren't they. They look rather poisonous. I'm going to check up on them.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:05 am

Well it says they start off green and ripen to black. The ones in the photo look a medium salad tomato size, so if yours are large enough I would try one. It does say that they aren't as sweet as red ones, more savoury and nice roasted. They are red inside so look a bit more appetising.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Stonecoloured » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:19 am

I honestly never thought these were real... only really seen the seed on eBay and thought it was a scam! (Like the purple / black strawberries). Now I see these in person, I think I know what to grow next season :) (After we figure out how to tell if they're ripe or not!)
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:59 pm

I have just found the packet & found the answer to my question printed on the inside of the packet - yep now it's a bit of paper not a packet. Anyway it says 'don't pick too early as the skin will have turned black before the fruit has fully ripened. They are ready to pick once they give to a slight squeeze'. Well if that's the case I think I have 2 that are more ready than some others so for the taste test which should be 'a mouth watering fresh tomato taste withe uniquely plummy overtones, that will also hold it's structure when cooked'.

It is actually called Indigo Rose & is not an F1 so can keep some seeds for next year as well if tastes OK.

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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Westi » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:12 pm

Well these I like very much! What they also do nearing ripening is get a wee light spot on the bottom which changes from green to light red to tell you they are ripe, along with the give when lightly squeezed.

My outdoor ones are even more prolific than the ones in the greenhouse but they are not ripe yet. The taste is very fine, not overly sweet, true tomato flavor, firm fleshed & skin just the right thickness that protects the fruit and doesn't split but you can eat it easily. I've had them in salads but they are great roasted as they don't squish down to a pulp & keep their shape until you put your knife through them.

You can keep the cucumelons & the colored spinach from James Wong though, but I will be saving seed from these.

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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:28 pm

I'd be iinterested to know what co,our they cook down to if you make a sauce or purree from them. i've recenty made tomato purree feom surplus yellow tomstoes. The end result was a rather muddy brown sauce. Doesn,t matter much as I'll use in spag bol sauces, casseroles, soups , etc .but if I wanted to use in a ratatouille for example, it would look rsther offputting.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Westi » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:38 pm

If you skinned them Primrose the sauce would be a light red so would need to add a bit more tomato puree to get it a bright red. I intend to make up some more sauces & soups for the freezer so will try both peeled & unpeeled to check the color of the finished product but it will be taste.

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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks Westi. Always interesting to see what the inside looks like . Strangely the catalogues never show you this.
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Re: Black Tomatoes

Postby clairelv1 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:00 am

i think it depends on different types . once i ate one tomato which looks very green but it was tasty . sweet and delicious .
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