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Old September 14, 2010   #1
amideutch
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Default Christopher Columbus

A red, indeterminate paster from Darrel Jones stable seeds via Suze. A standout at the 2009 SETTFest tomato tasting I have to agree with Suze as the taste for a paste is excellent. These were picked the other day and the first group to ripen. Given the weather conditions I have had so far this year this was one of my standout varieties. The largest fruit weighs in at 300 grams. Ami
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Old September 14, 2010   #2
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By the looks of those beauties, the only people who might be disappointed would be seed savers. Certainly look meaty!
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Old September 15, 2010   #3
walkinggin
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Those look beautiful. I am curious how they compare in taste and productivity to Ludmilla's Red Plum which I know you have praised in the past?

Ginny
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Old September 15, 2010   #4
amideutch
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Ginny, and I still praise Ludmilla's Red Plum. I can't make a real comparison till I grow CC under normal weather conditions as what I had this year was far from normal. Right now CC has the edge in the taste department but as far as production and uniformity in size Ludmilla's prevails. Next year I will grow Ludmilla's and CC side by side and get a true comparison. Ami
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Old September 15, 2010   #5
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I can give you that comparison. Christopher Columbus will win by a fraction. When conditions are difficult, temp is too hot, rain is too irregular, etc, that is when Christopher Columbus produces a crop that is appreciated. I grow it as an insurance variety. One that will produce when my Opalka's and others don't make the grade. Heidi is a determinate variety that I grow for similar reasons.

The fruits you post are far more irregular than I get. Typically it is a druplet shaped fruit. It tends toward an irregular pear like shape.

The original story was on Gardenweb back about 2003. It was posted by a man named Joseph who brought seed back from Italy and offered them on a website. He made claims of getting back to the way tomatoes are supposed to taste, and sold seed for a very high price. He sent me and 3 or 4 other folks seed to trial. I've kept it going since. I think Earl of Earl's Faux fame also has original seed.

DarJones
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Old September 16, 2010   #6
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The original story was on Gardenweb back about 2003. It was posted by a man named Joseph who brought seed back from Italy and offered them on a website. He made claims of getting back to the way tomatoes are supposed to taste, and sold seed for a very high price. He sent me and 3 or 4 other folks seed to trial. I've kept it going since. I think Earl of Earl's Faux fame also has original seed.

*****

I was just going to ask about that b'c I remember very clearly the website he put up and the high price he was charging for seeds and all the claims he made, but I don't remember him bringing them back from Italy. Maybe he did and named it CC, but see below.

I remember him naming that variety Christopher Colombus b/c he maintained that Columbus brought those seeds to America, which of course isn't true b'c Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 before the Spanish ever arrived in Mexico and subsequently distribted seeds to the Caribbean, then Spain, and from there to Italy.

I tried for an hour or so to find that website with no luck at all.

But the story isn't all that different from the variety Chuck Wyatt got a hold of, Borgo Cellano, which was claimed to be 400 plus years old, from Italy, and which I dislike re taste and you love it I know.

So that's what I remember b'c folks were going ga ga at something that Chris himelf brought to the US and if you Google even now you'll find some links and blogs that say Colombus was the source of tomato seeds to the Caribeean and the US, which he was not.

I mean why would he name a variety Christopher Columbus if there wasn't a tie in he was trying to prove with the name? Ja, Chris was from Genoa, not Spain as many once believed, but still.....

Ah well.
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Old September 16, 2010   #7
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Columbus took tomatoes from America to Spain. His crew didn't like them, and apparently the Spaniards were not overly thrilled by them. From the accounts I have read, the tomatoes that were taken to Europe were green, not red.
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Old September 16, 2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RinTinTin View Post
Columbus took tomatoes from America to Spain. His crew didn't like them, and apparently the Spaniards were not overly thrilled by them. From the accounts I have read, the tomatoes that were taken to Europe were green, not red.
Can you give me a link to that info? At that time, and in the Caribeean where Columbus was, the only tomatoes that could have been there were the wild currant ones that were distributed by Spanish Missionaries from Mexico as they traveled along the Gulf Coast to FL. And it's hard to see CC taking green wee fruits back with him when all that could have been there were the red currant ones.

And we can't discount bird tranmission either, since to this day it's not known how tomatoes got from the high plains of Peru and Chile to Mexico where some domestication started to occur in terms or retraction of the style and upsizing, which has been and is being studied at Ohio State Univeristy. You might remember a cover story of Scientific American with pictures on the cover and the article was written by someone I know at OSU whose work it was and is. I think her name is Dr. Esther Van de Knapp or something similar b;c I'm too lazy to go check my saved e-mails to confirm that.

The best source I know of as to tomato history is the book written by Andrew F Smith on the history, culture, etc., name origins, etc., of tomatoes.
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Old September 16, 2010   #9
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Don't forget that on his first voyage, he made it as far as the Bahamas (San Salvador Is.). The Spaniards had not been there to start distributing them yet. Whatever he took back was what the Caribbean natives were eating at the time.

I'll have to look around and find one of my sources for the 'green' tomatoes. Maybe they took under-ripe ones knowing it would be a long, slow journey home.
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Old September 16, 2010   #10
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Some folks believe Cortez is the first European to transfer small yellow tomatoes from Mexico to Spain after his conquest of Mexico City in 1520.

Other folks believe Christopher Columbus was the first European to take the tomato back to Spain as early as 1493.

The earliest mention of the tomato currently known in European literature appeared in a 1544 herbal by Pietro Andre Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist. Mattioli called the tomato, pomo d'oro, meaning golden apple, and the Italian word for tomato remains pomodoro.

Whether it was Cortez or Columbus, the current thinking is that Spanish ships first distributed the tomato from the American mainland thence through the Caribbean colonies, and then to Europe and the Philipines.
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Old September 16, 2010   #11
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Borgo Cellano is similar in origin - i.e. from Italy, heirloom variety - but the fruit are dramatically different. Borgo is a drying tomato that works well in paste and sauce. I would not slice and eat Borgo unless nothing else was available. Christopher Columbus is a juicier tomato that has a decent flavor in salads and for fresh eating.

I have about 30 CC plants growing in a tray and will ship a few of them to Florida in 2 weeks.

DarJones
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Old September 16, 2010   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Borgo Cellano is similar in origin - i.e. from Italy, heirloom variety - but the fruit are dramatically different. Borgo is a drying tomato that works well in paste and sauce. I would not slice and eat Borgo unless nothing else was available. Christopher Columbus is a juicier tomato that has a decent flavor in salads and for fresh eating.

I have about 30 CC plants growing in a tray and will ship a few of them to Florida in 2 weeks.

DarJones
As I said above, I know you like Borgo Cellano, and I wasn't comparing it with CC , b'c I don't think anyopne knows the history behind CC and was just suggesting that that person may have been suggesting that it too was several hundreds of years old, in which case it probably wouldna't even have had a name.

Almost all italian heirlooms that I've ever been sent have either been named already, for the family that brought them to the US or had no name at all and had to aske the person sending me the seeds to see what they could find out.

Actually the last time this happened it was with a variety that Charlie my farmer friend was growing where I used to grow most of my tomatoes. I asked him what it was and he said it had no name, it was just a variety that the family he sold wholsale to always grew.

So I contacted them, found when it was brought to the US, found it was grown in the Sarnow area of Poland, found out the name of the family growing it here in the US was Sarnowski, originally from that area, so it became Sarnowski Polish Plum.

And Barkeater actually met the younger Sarnowski somewhere around the Canadian border, noticed his name and BINGO , yes, it was Carolyn Male who contacted the family about it he said. Gotta love it.
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Old September 16, 2010   #13
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C:

Great story-small world!
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Old September 17, 2010   #14
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Thanks Ami and DarJones for the info. I will be trying Ludmilla's Red Plum next year and I think I may add Borgo Cellano( I know sandhill carries both) to my list as well since drying is one of my primary uses for paste tomatoes. I also rely heavily on Heidi for both drying and sauce because it is so productive and dependable.

Maybe Christopher Columbus will be offered as seed somewhere soon. While I have admired Darrel's site, living in CA I can only look but not touch, so to speak.

Ginny
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Old September 18, 2010   #15
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Ginny, if you would like seed, send me a message with your address. Not a general offer folks, but I will consider sending a few seed out next spring.

DarJones
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