Talkback: Tomatoes: best varieties for flavour

While Gardeners delight is good, it has been surpassed for flavour by Sungold and Red Cherry Premium. Absolutely nothing wrong with orange or any other colour of tomatoes!! Indeed, yellow and orange tomatoes are recommended for people who have arthritis rather than red tomatoes.


  • I love Roma tomatoes, but won't grow them again as they are a bush variety. As you say, blight is terrible and it's necessary to spray, but it's very hard to spray plants which are thick with foliage carrying dozens of tomatoes.

    I grew a few dozen plants each of Roma and San Marzano this year. I had to spray the lot but still lost most of the Roma as I couldn't get at the foliage.

    The San Marzano are a cordon variety, easy to spray and have the most wonderful tomatoes (ask any chef or Italian person). I harvested hundreds of them, most of which were made into passata or "sun dried" and bottled.

    As for Gardeners' Delight, they seem to vary from one seed company to another, which is very odd. I agree with Realfood that they have been surpassed by Sungold which have an incomparable flavour.
  • Must agree with Realfood, Sungold is up there with the best. Unfortunately I've been unable to crop any for the last two years because of blight. Had to resort to buying from Sainsburies, they do some good flavoured cherry toms, thank god.
  • I grow Sungold in my conservatory - didn't need to buy any seeds last year as seedlings came up in some of my flowerpots and I just transplanted them. I really must stop eating them like sweets straight off the vine. Moneymaker is easy and will survive the blight if you catch it immediately and take off the affected leaves and any fruit showing black bits.
  • Sungold totally rocks. But the flavour I loved the best this year was 'Purple cherokee', which has this gorgeous, smoky-yet-sweet flavour, a bit like red wine. I had a bit of a rant about it on my blog a few months back when I sat myself down and did a tomato taste test:
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. Looks like I should give Sungold another try. I have grown it in the past, but wasn't convinced it tasted better than Gardener's Delight. I also find it harder determining exactly when the yellow and orange varieties are fully ripe. Their colour change isn't as obvious to me as it is with red varieties. Is it just me or do others find this a problem?
  • My method for checking the ripeness of any tomato does not rely on colour change. The only reliable way to check is the gentle "pinch" test between finger and thumb. If there is a gentle "give", then it is ready.
    You should also try Red Cherry Premium, which tastes very similar to Sungold, but is less likely to split, especially if fully ripe.
  • I have found that Tigerella grow very well here In Kent.
    Not fantastically keen on tomatoes myself, but my Mother Is! therefore I'll use her authority on the matter. Also, one of the Lads at the allotment grew some Ferline, In the time old tradition he told us to take what we wanted, as he was to be away for a couple of weeks. I took some home for Mum, and she said they tasted just like her Dad used to Grow! Incidentally, she Is 70. To be honest, It looked like she had been re-united with a long lost friend! Now, I'm reckoning my grandad used to grow Moneynmakers, so maybe to Mother they taste similar to them.
    I have to note, that there was no Blight on them at all, and they were all about just bigger than a Snooker Ball In size. Luckily for me, I had already purchased Ferline, Fantasio, and Legend (All blight resistant variety's)for next season, as blight has been rife in previous seasons at our site, although this year was better, but a few folk ndid have to give them a blast of Dithane, or Bordeaux Mix, have a great Xmas and New Season to follow to all Fellow Gardeners
  • Forgot to mention, I also grew some Japanese Black Truffle tomatoes, these were excellent, sort of plum tomato shape, purple/red colour, with a green star around the point where they join the plant. They did very well, and tasted great, a more savoury type of tomato
  • I have given up growing tomatoes outside because of blight but now have 2 greenhouses and a potting shed with very large window and clear roof which is almost as good. My absolute favourite has got to be Shirley with Gardeners Delight next. This year I also grew Tumbling Tom which were delicious and went on forever. Tried a new one called Matina and will definitely grow them again next year. In the past I have bad habit of trying to grow too many varieties at once so am going to stick to just these four.
  • My favourite has to be Shirley (and its also my mothers name!!). My crop grew very well on the allotment this year, with no blight!!! I also tried a few new ones; Vintage Wine, a large beefsteak type heirloom tomato, Lemon Tree, a bright yellow plum like tomato that looks like a lemon and Banana Cream, a pale yellow tomato, but sadly not much flavour to me. I will definately be growing the Vintage Wine, Lemon Tree and the Shirley again. I have also got some new ones that I have not tried for next year, San Marzano, Gardeners Delight and Million (cherry variety i think). I love tomatoes and used up every single one that was grown this year, I cant wait for tomato growing season to come round again!!!
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