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Old January 9, 2012   #1
brokenbar
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Default My list of tomatoes grown for drying

I was asked by a member in a PM to list my top 20 drying tomatoes. Over the years I have trialed 100’s of varieties and those below are the ones that met my criteria year after year. These are all indeterminate.

Top 20 for Drying (D)-Sauce(S)-Salsa (SA) IMHO

This is how I use them but most can be used all three ways

Chinese (D)
Federle (D)
Opalka (D)
Dinofrios German (D)
Romeo (D)
Zapotec (D) (SA)
Big Mama (D Stabilized F8 )
Venetian Marketplace (D-S)
Nile River Egyptian (D)
Russo Sicilian Togeta (D-SA)
Costoluto Genovese (S)
Costoluto Fiorentino (D) (S)
Giant Pepperview (D)
Nick’s (D)
Amish Paste (D)
Super Italian Paste (D)
Chico Grande (D-S)
Seaches Italian (D)
Joe’s Plum (D)
Goldman's Italian American

I want dry, dry, dry, few seeds, big, meaty. I prefer tomatoes that are more twangy than sweet for drying.

I was asked about:

Borgo Cellano-too many seeds
Bisigano #2 –Not great production overall
Columbus-I have not heard of or ever grown

You will notice I do not list the touted “Ultimate Drying Tomato” Principe Borgese. Small, seeds up the wazoo and determinate sums it up.


Most heart tomatoes make decent drying tomatoes but it boils down to a matter of taste, production and size for me.
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Last edited by brokenbar; January 9, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old January 9, 2012   #2
DuckCreekFarms
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So i see you listed Amish paste twice....does that mean it's twice as nice

gary
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Old January 9, 2012   #3
Bellatrix
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Wow! Great list - thank you for posting!

I felt the same disappointment with Principe Borgese - very under-whelmed. I dry several tomatoes on your list, but would also add Speckled Roman and Heidi to my list. Heidi is a smaller tomato, but it produces so many tomatoes and late into the season, is super easy to seed for drying, very uniformed size for equal drying, great flavor and...well, the dried tomatoes are pretty. They look just beautiful in a canning jar.

Bellatrix
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Old January 9, 2012   #4
walkinggin
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brokenbar, I got my SASE to Wyoming out last week, I'm really excited about trying some of your favorites.

I'm with you Bellatrix, my very favorites for drying are Speckled Roman and Heidi though I would give Speckled Roman the top spot for taste. As you say, the uniformity of size makes them easy to work with and I usually don't even bother to remove the seeds.
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Old January 9, 2012   #5
Fusion_power
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Mary, Please comment on these which you had listed as good drying tomatoes a few years back. Also, from your list, Chinese is a paste from Tomatofest or a small oblate from Sandhill. Which are you growing?

Carol Chyko - Mariseeds
Cuoro D Toro - totallytomatoes
San Marzano Redorta - widely available, TGS

Ukrainian Heart would probably work pretty well too, it is the most nearly seedless tomato I've grown and has decent flavor.

Christopher Columbus is a large drupelet shaped tomato from Italy that has intense flavor and medium to low seed count. It would probably be a shoe-in for your list.

Amish Paste (D) - Widely available, TGS, but there are a LOT of mixed up seed floating around!
Big Mama (D Stabilized F8 ) - hybrid stabilized, available via trade
Chico Grande (D-S) - Is this the same as Chico III?
Chinese (D) - Sandhill & Tomatofest have it, but two diff tomatoes, Tomatofest is paste
Costoluto Fiorentino (D) (S) - Widely available, TGS has them
Costoluto Genovese (S) - Widely available, TGS has them
Dinofrios German (D) - available via trade, sse members
Federle (D) - Knapps and SSE
Giant Pepperview (D) - Mariseeds
Joe’s Plum (D) - Mariseeds
Nick’s (D) - Mariseeds
Nile River Egyptian (D) - Heritageharvestseed
Opalka (D) - widely available, TGS, Mariseeds
Romeo (D) - Casey's of Airdrie
Russo Sicilian Togeta (D-SA) - Mariseeds, SSE, Tomatofest
Seaches Italian (D) - Mariseeds
Super Italian Paste (D) - Mariseeds
Venetian Marketplace (D-S) - Looks like BrokenBar has them
Zapotec (D) (SA) - Widely available, TGS, etc.

By the way, I thought I knew a bit about tomatoes. Your list proved me wrong! Just digging around to find them was an adventure.

DarJones
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Old January 9, 2012   #6
recruiterg
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Brokenbar, can you post your recipe for drying? I saw it once before, but can't find it.
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Old January 9, 2012   #7
darwinslair
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If by Columbus, you mean Christopher Columbus, I can tell you that it is near seedless, which makes saving seeds from it a pain. Fruits are solid meat, taste pretty good, and I have had them over 2 pounds, though the vast majority of them are closer to 1 pound.

Did well for me this year but nearly all of my tomatoes go into sauce.

Tom
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Old January 9, 2012   #8
brokenbar
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Chinese is long, looks like three sausage tomatoes glued together. Marianna's heirlooms (http://www.mariseeds.com) had it as does Tomato Fest. Marianna has no minimum whereas Tomato Fest has a 15.00 minimum.

Chico Grande IS NOT the same as Chico III

Carol Chyko - Mariseeds Like this but it ripened very late in Wyoming and have not re[grown it in Mexico yet
Cuoro D Toro - totallytomatoes Have discovered I like the flavor others better
San Marzano Redorta - widely available, TGS Not nearly as good as others in my list but one I grew before I started testing other varieties

I got Venetian Marketplace from the market in Venice when I visited it last year

DiNofrios German (Carolyn knows the particular spelling) Marianna has this but only via the SSE catalog. I offered the seed here once. Will save a bunch for offer next year. REALLY like this tomato.

Romeo...this is an extremely hard seed to find. I got mine from SSE member Charles Case after looking for a couple of years. Biggest of the "typical Paste Tomato Shaped" tomatoes I grow. Sets an exceptionally large crop of tomatoes and they ripened fairly early in Wyoming. Will offer this next year.

Amish Paste..okay...I did list it twice. Take it off and add

Goldman's Italian American which I have now grown out for 3 years (2 Wyoming 1 Mexico) and it is outstanding.

A couple of others:

1 X 6
Beach Boy
Jersey Giant (NOT Jersey Devil. This is almost twice as big but same shape.)
Long Tom

And one determinate, Maria Dondero which I know that our Craig here at TV has grown. Big crop of the goofiest looking tomatoes I have ever grown. Shaped like a bell that someone put their hand on and squished flat.

I don't know SQUAT about "regular" tomatoes and I am always humbled by Carolyn's command and recall of every variety under the sun. Paste/drying tomatoes is all I have grown for nearly 20 years so those I know.

And hardly anyone grows tomatoes for the reason I grow them using a criteria of "dry-few seeds-big-tart-" and that is the reason I grow many that others have not heard of (except Carolyn who remembers EVERYTHING!)

I am trialing a new Costoluto, "Costoluto Genovese sel Valente" (and am as always searching for the ever-elusive Costoluto Cantonese )
The other I am trialing is "Scatalone" a large and extra dry paste tomato from Italy.

I will have to try the Christopher Columbus...
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Old January 9, 2012   #9
brokenbar
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SUNDRIED TOMATO RECIPE

Wash, stem and slice each tomato into 1/4" thick slices. Keep slices as uniform as possible so they will dry at the same rate.


Place in a very large bowl or clean bucket and cover with cheap red wine. I use Merlot but if you prefer something else, knock yourself out. I have a friend that swears by cheap Chianti! Soak tomato slices 24 hours in the wine. Drain well. You can re-use the wine soak 3 times but then it should be discarded.



Lay tomatoes just touching on dehydrator shelves or on screen in your sun-drying apparatus. Sprinkle each slice with a mixture containing equal parts of dried basil-oregano-parsley and then sprinkle each slice with Kosher Salt and garlic powder. You may choose to fore-go the salt if you wish but tomatoes will take longer to dry.



Dry tomatoes until they are firm and leather-like with no moisture pockets, but NOT brittle. (If you get them too dry, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes.) To store, place in vacuum bags or ziplock bags and freeze.


IMPORTANT!!! If you will be storing sun-dried tomatoes in Olive oil you !!!MUST!!! dip each slice in vinegar before adding to oil.


To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off the excess vinegar and pack them in olive oil adding 1/4 cup red wine. For tomatoes in oil I am selling, I put the tomatoes into the oil two weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly. I use my vacuum sealer to seal the canning lids on. Store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly re-liquifies at room temperature however).



As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. I have stored oil-packed tomatoes in my root cellar for over a year. . I have tried a number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but the vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold. Soaking in the wine also acidifies them.



****** WARNING ********
Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just a perfect growth medium for botulism bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.
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Last edited by brokenbar; January 9, 2012 at 04:28 PM.
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Old January 9, 2012   #10
Fusion_power
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Just when you thought it was safe...
Just when you thought your list for 2012 was all set to go...
Just when you were patting yourself on the back because your varieties were all picked...


This thread comes along and now you have to start all over!!!

Good luck folks, I'm going seed hunting.

Brokenbar, pm me an address and I'll send you some Christopher Columbus.

DarJones
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Old January 9, 2012   #11
darwinslair
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Brokenbar, thanks for the recipe. THat sounds heavenly.

Tom
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Old January 9, 2012   #12
brokenbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinslair View Post
Brokenbar, thanks for the recipe. THat sounds heavenly.

Tom
This is the recipe I used for 8 years to dry mine to sell to the Chefs at area upscale restaurants. I am going to include a post I just got on the harvest forum:
Quote:
I got your recipe for the Oil Cured Tomatoes from the Harvest forum a while ago, and tried it out finally this past summer. I had an abundance of paste type tomatoes, so I dried them according to your instructions, then followed you recipe to pack them in oil. I'll admit, I thought all the acidification was a bit much, but followed your instructions carefully. The one point I wasn't real clear on was how tightly to pack the jars, so I went on instinct, and pressed them in pretty tightly.
I had some dried tomatoes in the freezer that had been there for quite a while, and thought what the heck, thawed them, used your technique and they are as good as the rest. There were even a few yellow tomatoes that went in the jar, not as pretty, but just as tasty. Also, the color is amazing, such a deep garnet red, I think that must be from the red wine they absorbed.
I packed 6 pints of them, and as the jars stood, the red wine and the oil separated, as you would expect, so every few days I would flip the jars, just to keep things better mixed. Well, I finally opened a jar this past Sunday and used them to stuff some chicken breasts. They are without a doubt the best I have ever had, just as you said in your post. I have given some to one of the chefs that I work with and he agreed that they are a superior product, and asked me for the technique. I hope you don't mind that I shared it, but it is too good to keep to myself!
So, thank you for a brillliant recipe. It is one that I will use for a long time, and always give you credit!
Steve
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Old January 9, 2012   #13
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****** WARNING ********
Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just a perfect growth medium for botulism bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated.

If you are oil packing, do you omit the garlic powder when drying?

Thanks
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Old January 9, 2012   #14
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Brokenbar, your dried tomato in olive recipe looks great. I was given a small oak barrel for making vinegar a while back. I've been looking for an excuse to brew up a batch, and now I have one, or will next season, owing nothing dastardly happens to your drying varieties in my garden, my hands.
-naysen
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Old January 9, 2012   #15
brokenbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljp View Post
****** WARNING ********
Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just a perfect growth medium for botulism bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated.

If you are oil packing, do you omit the garlic powder when drying?

Thanks
No, the garlic powder is dry/cooked. Only fresh garlic is a problem.
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