Cherokee Purple Tomato
The Cherokee Purple tomato I would rate in my top 5 for flavour. Another variety I grow each year. Produce some very large tomatoes that are not always the best looking, but they are the best tasting. A climber so staking is recommended.
An old American heirloom brought back by Craig Lehoullier after he was sent a packet of seeds. Produces a deep dusky purple colour fruit in a flattened globe shape. A beefsteak tomato that has done quite well for me over the cooler 2019 and 2020 summers.
Sow – Start on a heat mat or indoors in late August, plant out after risk of frost and soils warmed (November cool climate). Can start earlier if planting in a hot house. 8 weeks from sowing to planting approx.
Spacing – 80cm.
- The wild ancestor of the tomato is native to western South America. These wild versions were the size of peas. Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica were the first to have domesticated the fruit and used in their cooking.
- The Spanish first introduced tomatoes to Europe, where they became used in Spanish food.
- In France, Italy and northern Europe, the tomato was initially grown as an ornamental plant. It was regarded with suspicion as a food because botanists recognized it as a nightshade, a relative of the poisonous belladonna.
- This was exacerbated by the interaction of the tomato’s acidic juice with pewter plates.
- The leaves and immature fruit contains tomatine, which in large quantities would be toxic. However, the ripe fruit contains no tomatine.