I have an opinion (and recommendation) about which tomato variety is best to grow if you want big, messy, juicy summertime tomato sandwiches, but I’m willing to hear from you and perhaps change my mind.
I have grown a variety of heirloom tomatoes over the years, searching for the perfect blend of bold tomato sweetness, rich texture and dribble-down-your chin-juiciness. I stuck to heirloom varieties because I am a gardener and want to propagate the perfect tomato in successive seasons through seed saving. Hybrid plants will not breed true if you use their seeds, so I tend to avoid them. If you only grow tomatoes from purchased baby plants, you don’t have to limit yourself to heirlooms and a far wider range of options open up.
Of all the varieties I’ve grown in my garden, I have found the Cherokee Purple to be the most perfectly tomato-delicious. Like the name suggests, the large beautiful fruits are more purple than red, often shaded with green on the underside. The skin is thin, the insides meaty and delicately laced. A thick slice of Cherokee Purple, lightly salted, on top of a piece of farmer’s market sourdough toast? Will make me cry with happiness every.single.time.
If there’s a tomato variety you could not imagine not having in your garden, I would love to know how you discovered it and where you tend to get your plants. Have a favored recipe that highlights summer-sweet tomatoes? I’ve got 20 plants in the ground and am expecting at least 50 pounds of tomatoes– I’d appreciate the advice with what the heck to do with them.