Tomato 41 - Tiger Tom - this absolute gem came in the same packet as Czech’s Excellent Yellow, sent by SSE member Jim Halladay of Pennsylvania in 1987. As with that variety, it was bred by a Czech tomato breeder and made its way into the Ben Quisenberry collection - then more widely distributed in the US. I love this tomato, and it found a place in my 2021 garden, as it had been some time since I grew it. I often recommend Tiger Tom to gardeners looking for a tomato with a refreshingly tart note to the flavor. The golf ball sized scarlet tomatoes show irregular vertical golden stripes. The flavor is intense and delicious. The main fault of Tiger Tom is that it cracks when fully ripe, or watered when approaching ripeness, it rains when ripe fruit are on the plant. It was quite a star in my 1987 garden. With the first ripe fruit coming in at 64 days, it was in the early category. I picked 170 tomatoes, at an average weight of 2 ounces, giving a plant yield of 21.5 pounds - in flavor it rated an A-, quite excellent.
Tomato 42 - Delicious - it is hard for me to believe that although I had this seed since 1987 (purchased at a garden center in a Page Seed Company packet), I’ve never grown it. Released by Burpee in 1964, it is best known for producing enormous scarlet red tomatoes. It originated from a Burpee-created cross between Jubilee and a large pink, from which they selected this huge scarlet tomato. Its claim to fame is that it was until fairly recently the variety that was grown by Gordon Graham to produce a 7 pound, 11 ounce fruit, the world record at the time. Prior to Gordon, the record was held by Clarence Dailey of Wisconsin with a 6 pound, 8 ounce specimen. I’ve never been a gardener interested in the earliest, or largest, tomato. I love tomatoes with stories and tomatoes that are delicious. Anyone trying to win tomato size/weight contests would be wise to try this.