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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old February 29, 2008   #1
Raymondo
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Default Grosse Lisse origins

Most Australians, if asked, would say that Grosse Lisse is an Australian variety. While almost certainly not the case (very few tomatoes can claim Australian origin), it is quite understandable given that it was, and probably still is, the most popular home grown variety.
I was wondering whether anyone in T'ville has any documented evidence of GL's origins. I've heard two stories. Both have GL going from England to Australia but one has it arriving in England from Germany and the other from the US.
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Old February 29, 2008   #2
cdntomato
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Ray, there's also an oft misspelled Jaune Grosse Lisse floating around breeding stations et genebanks. Origins said to be France or Austria, if I remember correctly.

Jennifer
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Old February 29, 2008   #3
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How I wish I could remember all the discussions we/ve had about this but my clear memory is that Grosse Lisse is renamed from a US variety that went from the US to England early on, thence to Australia.

Trophy comes to mind, but I do hope that someone who was part of those discussions remembers more than I do right now.
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Old February 29, 2008   #4
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For once I did remember something correctly. I've cut and pasted what was at Ventmarin below but a Google search brings up other links that also identify Grosse Lisse as being Trophy from the US And I also believe that it makes more sense that Trophy went to England first, then to Australia, in terms of migration patterns, as I see it.

Trophy dates from around 1860 and was developed by Dr. T. J Hand by crossing a cherry tomato with a large lumpy one and was one of the first smooth round red varieties.

I didn't take more time to read all the links and I also didn't try to find my Vilmorin book to see what the reference was there, nor did I try to find my Fearing Burr book to do the same.

*******
Fruit rouge aplati de 5 à 10 centimètres de diamètre et de 180 à 210 grammes. En bouquet de 4 à 5 fruits. Légèrement côtelé en partie haute avec la possibilité d'éclatement dans les talwegs puis cicatrisation. Faible dépression liégeuse à l'attache pédonculaire. Ombilic marqué par un point minuscule en léger renflement. Chair de boeuf. Plant de 100 à 120 centimètres de hauteur. Variété très cultivée en Australie depuis 90 ans au minimum sous le nom de "Trophy" qui est le nom par lequel "Grosse Lisse" a été présentée en Angleterre et plus tard présentée en Australie. Variété fixée originaire des USA.
  • Variété citée en 1900 dans le catalogue "Vilmorin".
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Old February 29, 2008   #5
Raymondo
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Jennifer, I have seen that variety name before but for the moment just where I have seen it totally escapes me.

Carolyn, Trophy rings a bell but I think it does so because you've mentioned it before, a discussion on GW if memory serves, but that's a big if these days!

The reason I have posted this is that a new seed seller in Australia has GL listed as an Australian variety. It is inconceivable to me that any Australian thing would be given a French name. It's just doesn't gel with the Australian psyche to do so. Of course, 100 years ago may have been entirely different but I doubt it.
It is, however, quite conceivable that the English would have applied a French name. After all, they use French words for zucchini, eggplant and snowpea - courgette, aubergine and mangetout respectively, although the French themselves use the term pois gourmand for snowpea, not mangetout!
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Old February 29, 2008   #6
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Ah, thank you for that Carolyn. You posted while I was typing! That gives me something more concrete to work on.
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