Tomato Taste Test

The blogger behind Skippy’s Vegetable Garden is easing the pain caused by the late emergence of tomatoes in her home garden by buying at her local farmers’ market, unwittingly inserting herself into the ongoing heirlooms versus hybrids debate among tomato-lovers. The dispute can be a bit esoteric at times, so it’s interesting to see a taste test that includes (and raves about) both heirlooms and hybrids. This blogger had a hard time picking a favorite, but she settles on the Black Prince heirloom as her top pick, with the Orange Blossom hybrid as a close second.

I’ve always reached for the heirloom tomatoes at farm stands, but this summer, since I was starting my first backyard garden here in Brooklyn, I opted for some easy-to-grow Burpee hybrids. I’ve got to say that the plants are prolific and the tomatoes are delicious. My Napa Hybrid Grape Tomato plants are about five feet tall and are producing the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, and my Tomato Fresh Salsa plants totally fit their “dripless” description. They aren’t in the same league as heirlooms, but since they hardly have any juice or pulp in them, they’re as easy to chop as bell peppers—so they work really well in a lazy-man’s salsa or bruschetta.

Can anyone recommend a reliable heirloom (or another hybrid) tomato for next summer’s garden?