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Old September 15, 2011   #1
SEAMSFASTER
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Default Delectation of Tomatoes - Taste Test Results

Delectation of Tomatoes, etc. held it's first tomato tasting event on September 10, 2011. Participants sampled 83 varieties and ranked each for flavor on a scale of 1-10.

And the winners are...

Posted at:
http://www.gianttomatoseeds.com/toma...t_results.html
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Old September 15, 2011   #2
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Very interesting and sometimes surprising results in the first table presented but I suppose that what it reinforces is that taste is personal and perceptual and actually has a human genetic component. As well as reinforcing the fact that two folks on the same street can grow the same variety and the fruits may not taste the same depending on many variables.

There are many on the lists that I know very well since I introduced them, but more to the point just knowing that some folks somewhere had ripe tomatoes to taste makes me very very jealous since this is the third year in a row here in upstate NY that my tomatoes were beyond pathetic.

And all who attended should appreciate the hard work that you did in putting on the event and I know that since I too have organized taste testings myself.

I'm too lazy to go back up and read but did you furnish all the tomatoes or did some who attended bring some of their varieties as well?
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Old September 15, 2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semi_lucid View Post
Text deleted. Had a problem getting that page to display, but I got it fixed.
Glad you were able to read the results! I've narrowed the table and added a link to a Google document in case anyone else has troubles. I'm a beginner at this website design, obviously...
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Old September 15, 2011   #4
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
... did you furnish all the tomatoes or did some who attended bring some of their varieties as well?
Carolyn,

I appreciate the kind words, especially considering the source. And in case it's not obvious, you and your work were major inspirations in giving me the courage to start this little tomato (etc.) business! Friends, neighbors and customers are VERY appreciative of the opportunity to sample so many good varieties. I think we've won a lot of converts away from grocery store tomatoes!

It's a one-man operation - 420 plants of 280 varieties crammed into 1/15th (0.07) of an acre. With the exception of about 25 varieties, I grew them all from seed.

All of the tomatoes presented were those I grew on site (my sister's house). However, one lady brought three beautiful tomatoes to show me (she purchased seedlings in May), including a huge (1.9 lb.) double tomato, similar in shape to the Richardson that's depicted on my home page. But since she did not record the variety names (you of all people know how important that is...), I did not use them in the tasting event.

One of the biggest surprises to me is that only one cherry tomato made the top ten (once upon a time I swore I would never grow tiny tomatoes again...). Otherwise, nearly all of the high scoring tomatoes are ones I really liked this year as well.

As a scientist, you know that sample sizes need to be at least 20 or so to get statistically valid results. Presenting medians rather than means might be more meaningful, since there were wide differences in opinions (one person rated Yellow Pear an enthusiastic "1,000" - go figure).

Anyway, considering the very cool and wet Spring we had here, I feel fortunate that the tomato crop is doing so well. My biggest challenge is getting all the tomatoes sold - it is my first year!

I am curious to know what a few of your surpises are.

Thanks
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Old November 7, 2011   #5
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That's great to see how some tomatoes ranked! You've done a big job of growing all those different tomatoes . Far better than I would have for sure!

I am curious. You have listed Tim's Black Ruffles and Purple Calabash. I've heard it said that possibly they are one and the same. Did you grow both of them? Were they the same tomato to you?

Also I see that Big Zac is listed up there too. Nice to see that really big tomatoes can also have flavor!
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Old November 8, 2011   #6
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Originally Posted by lakelady View Post
That's great to see how some tomatoes ranked! You've done a big job of growing all those different tomatoes . Far better than I would have for sure!

I am curious. You have listed Tim's Black Ruffles and Purple Calabash. I've heard it said that possibly they are one and the same. Did you grow both of them? Were they the same tomato to you?

Also I see that Big Zac is listed up there too. Nice to see that really big tomatoes can also have flavor!
I could not tell any difference between Tim's Black Ruffles and Purple Calabash. The plants looked and grew the same, and the fruit had the same color, shapes, flavor and tendency to split. I suppose that a more patient and astute observer could distinguish them, however.

Some people are prejudiced against all big tomatoes because some varieties truly are not very good for fresh eating. Several strains of Big Zac which I have grown, however, have a wonderfully rich and sweet flavor along with a juicy texture. Several who try it for the first time become instant fans. It's great for sandwiches, juice, sauces or whatever. And of course it's a lot more fun to pick one huge tomato than 1,164 teeny weeny currant-sized tomatoes!

Big Zac is rather prone to splitting, however - and the often multi-lobed, fused fruits can be downright ugly. And not all strains taste so good.

The attached pics are of a 2.266 lb. Big Zac, a 2.500 pounder, and a dense clustering of about 15 lbs. worth. When I harvested all the unripe tomatoes just ahead of the season-ending frost, I got about 200 lbs. off of 8 Big Zac plants - this was after harvesting several hundred pounds during the previous few weeks!
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Old November 8, 2011   #7
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Those pics of Big Zac look good...I've seen some of the multi lobed ones and they just don't look very attractive or edible. I'm definately going to make room for one of those for next year! I never had an inclination to grow "giant tomatoes" until I saw your website, lol...they just look so good I have to try a few
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Old November 9, 2011   #8
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Obviously you've done a fantastic job, particularly from a one-man operation. What strain of the Big Zac is yours, if you don't mind me asking? Other people here may also be interested to learn it, so we can hunt down the proper seed source. Anyways, congratulations to the wonderful harvest.
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Old November 9, 2011   #9
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I didn't know there were any strains of Big Zac based on my understanding of what a strain is and I don't know any strains of any hybrids.

Totally Tomatoes was the first to offer Big Zac F1, with parents donated and agreed to with Minnie Zacariah. But after one or two years the blurb said to rogue out this or that which was the first clue that something had gone wrong, and it had, b'c what they were selling was NOT Big Zac F1.

This was when Wayne Hilton owned TT before Jung's bought out all of Hiltons companies.

Then Reimers showed up with something that wasn't Big Zac but advertised as such.

I forgot to say that Minnie Z was invited to come to GW at the time and said that TT had lost one of the parents.

I guess the current TT owned by Jungs is again selling the F1, but I didn't check that out.

So I'm not sure what's meant by other strains of Big Zac F1 b'c all I know of is the authentic F1 one and some sold that were listed as Big Zac, that were not Big Zac at all.
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Old November 9, 2011   #10
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I got the impression it wasn't a strain but that DT had grown it out over several generations. Hopefully he will come on and explain it.
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Old November 9, 2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I didn't know there were any strains of Big Zac based on my understanding of what a strain is and I don't know any strains of any hybrids.

Totally Tomatoes was the first to offer Big Zac F1, with parents donated and agreed to with Minnie Zacariah. But after one or two years the blurb said to rogue out this or that which was the first clue that something had gone wrong, and it had, b'c what they were selling was NOT Big Zac F1.

This was when Wayne Hilton owned TT before Jung's bought out all of Hiltons companies.

Then Reimers showed up with something that wasn't Big Zac but advertised as such.

I forgot to say that Minnie Z was invited to come to GW at the time and said that TT had lost one of the parents.

I guess the current TT owned by Jungs is again selling the F1, but I didn't check that out.

So I'm not sure what's meant by other strains of Big Zac F1 b'c all I know of is the authentic F1 one and some sold that were listed as Big Zac, that were not Big Zac at all.
Carolyn, do you mean they were creating the F1s from Minnie and then lost one of the parents they were supposed to use to create it? Boy that would be a big fubar .... do you think the F1s sold at TT are genuine by now?
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Old November 9, 2011   #12
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Several strains of Big Zac which I have grown, however, have a wonderfully rich and sweet flavor along with a juicy texture. Several who try it for the

******

...... was posted above where it was said that several strains of Big Zac were grown.

If seeds were saved from Big Zac F1, they would be the F2 seeds and would result in F2 plants, etc., but those are not really strains, and would be IDed by F generation as selections were made.
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Old November 9, 2011   #13
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Carolyn, do you mean they were creating the F1s from Minnie and then lost one of the parents they were supposed to use to create it? Boy that would be a big fubar .... do you think the F1s sold at TT are genuine by now?
That's exactly what I mean and at GW Minnie said she was going to give them the other parent, but two facts.

The original TT owned by Wayne Hilton was a seed site and he had to subcontract out to get the F1 constructed.

But at about the same time Jung's bought out TT from Hilton as well as Shumways, Vt Seed and all the rest.

I would assume that the Big Zac F1 that Jung's is selling is the correct one but that's just an assumption. If you call to find out you'll probably get nowhere b'c most there wouldn't know what you were talking about.

If it really is crucial for you know you might try PMing Jungseed, I think that's her user name here and Ruth works at Jung's/

Sometimes there's an advantage to being older when it comes to some of the backstory info on some varieties.
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Old November 10, 2011   #14
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I'm a relative newcomer (obviously) to the world of tomato growing. I first heard/read of Big Zac in a 2009 R.H. Shumway's Illustrated Garden Guide (pg. 54). The description reads, in part, "An excellent tomato in every respect; meaty and delicious". I grew it that year and was hooked.

In 2010 I became involved in growing tomatoes for size through Perry's Greenhouse (http://www.perrysgreenhouse.com/vbforum/). That endeavor was instrumental in opening my eyes to an entire world of tomatoes (etc.) outside the big seed company catalogs (Burpee, Gurney's, Jung, Park, etc.).

Anyhow, apparantly giant tomato growers are taking their cue from the world of giant pumpkin growers. See http://www.pumpkinlink.com/ and http://www.aggc.org/aggc_main.asp if you're not familiar with how they trace lineages in that world. Briefly, each registered pumpkin is designated first by an official weight, second by the grower's last name, and third by the year grown. The current world's record is 1818.5 Bryson 2011. More than 12,000 pumpkins are listed!

Of course the world of giant tomato growing is very different. We're dealing with multiple varieties instead of just one. However, most of the really huge ones (5 lbs. plus) have Delicious or Big Zac ancestry (though Marv Meisner grew some monsters from Brutus Magnum and MegaMarv this year as well).

As far as I can tell, there is not a standardized convention for naming noteworthy giant tomatoes. I have suggested following the lead of giant pumpkin growers but adding the variety name. For example, I would suggest listing the largest tomato grown (and officially weighed and registered) in 2011 as:

Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)

(See http://www.bigpumpkins.com/WeighoffR...spx?c=T&y=2011 for the full list).

Over the years, I'm guessing that many hybrids have been de-hybridized by tomato growers, yet the OP strain (is there a better term?) still retains the same variety name as the original. Carmello is one that comes to mind.

In the world of Big Zac tomatoes, growers have been selecting for big tomatoes for several years. This means, of course, doing what we're told never to do: save seeds from a hybrid.

Documentation of lineages for giant tomatoes is nothing like it is for giant pumpkins. However, the most promising lineage (is this a more acceptable term than "strain"?) I have is:

Big Zac (2.660 Thurber 2011) (came from) 2.762 Thurber 2010 4.83 Perry 2009 5.58 Timm 2008 3.9 Catapano 2007 4.29 Lyons 2006 Big Zac (assume commercial F1).

So that brings us to F7, at least. When do we quit counting F's and just call it OP? I, for one, am not inclined to call something a new variety just because someone grew a remarkable specimen or because it's been de-hybridized. By the way, the 5.58 Timm seed produced a 7.18 Harp 2009!

So, NewWestGardener, I've listed one of the better lineages I raised this year. The tomatoes are very tasty and productive, as mentioned. On October 16th I finally got around to thinning off the smaller tomatoes on one of the plants, leaving just two big ones. The thinned tomatoes came to 24 lbs. (see pic).

Just as with giant pumpkins, those who are serious about growing giant tomatoes don't bother with the unproven genetics in seed catalogs. They obtain seeds through auctions, raffles, club membership, seed swaps, or contacting the grower directly. I don't think you'll see tomato seeds going for $350 a pop anytime soon, however! (Perhaps if you manage to grow a 10 pounder...)

Lineage, cultivar, strain, variety, open pollinated descendent of a hybrid variety - have you posted somewhere, Carolyn, what the proper definitions are for these terms? I agree that word choice is important so that confusion and miscommunication are minimized.

I hope I haven't hi-jacked this thread too terribly or bored anyone with too many details!
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File Type: jpg Big Zac (2.762 DT 2010) thinning 10-16-2011 L rev.jpg (381.9 KB, 82 views)
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Old November 10, 2011   #15
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Lineage, cultivar, strain, variety, open pollinated descendent of a hybrid variety - have you posted somewhere, Carolyn, what the proper definitions are for these terms? I agree that word choice is important so that confusion and miscommunication are minimized.

*******

Some of those terms have been known forever, and not defined by me since there already was agreement in the tomato world.

The definition of strain was asked just recently here and Travis and I posted in that thread which is in the General Discussion area.

Cultivar is a term that those in academia use to refer to a variety, and that word is almost THE only word used almost exclusively in scientific articles, papers, about tomato varieties being used in the studies,

A variety has forever been recognized as one where the various traits of the variety are known and the variety is stable, and remains so unless or until a mutation or cross pollination occurs, and that's also discussed in the thread here about strains.

Open Pollinated (OP) usually refers to a variety where all seeds sown give rise to the same identical plants and fruits, again, unless a mutation or X pollination occur.

When working with a hybrid, whether it be a known commercial hybrid, or a hybrid that was one from deliberate breeding , or whether it be from an accidental X pollination, selections made from the saved F2 seeds from the hybrid give rise to F generations, so If I make a selection amongst the F2 plants from the initial hybrid, such as maybe Ramapo F1, the saved seeds are referred to as F3 seeds and onward one goes until all seeds of a single selection give rise to the exact same plants and fruits.

At that point it's an OP and different individuals doing the work may at that time rename what they have or just refer to it as an F6 or F7, or whatever. There's no consensus on that. it really depends on whether it's a dehybridization of a known commercial hybrid to an OP state or whether it's something quite different from what one started out with.

http://www.kdcomm.net/~tomato/

I highly suggest the above link to KM's superb tomato site for explanations of genetic segregation and how many generations it takes to get a selection to the genetically homogeneous OP state. And there's so much more at that site in terms of how to make crosses, well, you just have to see. Start with the link on Cultivation, I think that's the one where segregation is discussed and don't forget to look at all the other resources and links at his site.

As for Marv Meisner I know him well and have for years. His user name at most places is lubadub. He's posted here at Tville in the past but as he's said, there isn't that much interest at this site in growing big tomatoes, which is true.

Here's a couple of links from Garden Web that might interest you and in the one you'll see him asking if I saw what he posted, and there's a long backstory between Marv and myself that goes back to Gordon Graham's award winning 7# 12 oz tomato.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...3326655.html?6

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...395418365.html

Those are just a few of the links. And yes, those interested in growing big tomatoes kind of stick together and post at the same sites and share seeds amongst themselves and others when they're available.

Marv has offered to send me some of those seeds of large ones but I've never taken him up on his offer and probably won't, b/c I've never had any interest whatsoever in growing large tomatoes, if they happen they do, but there are lots of folks for whom it's the chase and the fun of doing so, just as it is for those who enter competitions for the largest cabbage, the longest carrot, the largest turnip, etc.

But the main reason I grow tomatoes, about 3,000 varieties to date, is for taste and it sure helps a lot if the tasty ones are also good producers.

I almost forgot that because of some talk between Marv and myself, I think I remember I'm supposed to be sending him bulbs for a BLACK TULIP.
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