Discover Black Krim Tomato Profile & Grow Guide

Discover Black Krim Tomato Profile & Grow Guide

In a world where grocery store tomatoes are often tasteless and mealy, homegrown tomatoes offer a delicious alternative. And few varieties can compare to the incredible flavor and unique beauty of Black Krim tomatoes. With smoky undertones and outstanding juiciness, these tomatoes will transform your sandwiches, salads, and salsas.

A Brief History of the Black Krim Tomato

Sometimes called Black Crimea for their origins along the Black Sea in Crimea, Black Krim tomatoes have an intriguing backstory. According to legend, the original seeds of this heirloom variety were spread by soldiers returning home after the Crimean War in the mid-19th century. The richly flavored fruits became popular across Europe, eventually making their way to America in the 1990s.

Thanks to seed saver Lars Olov Rosenstrom, who introduced the variety through the Seed Savers Exchange, Black Krim tomatoes took off in popularity. Now, they are one of the most sought-after heirloom tomato varieties for home gardeners and farmers’ market shoppers alike.

Fast Fact

  • Medium to large fruits 8-12 oz. with oblate shape
  • Dark reddish-purple skin with deep purple interior flesh
  • Indeterminate vines can reach 6 ft. tall if staked
  • Meaty texture great for slicing and sandwiches
  • Very thin skin prone to cracking if over-watered
  • Hearty plants with good disease resistance
  • 75-80 day maturity though slow starter

Pros

  • Rich, complex flavor with sweet and smoky notes
  • Beautiful deep reddish-purple color
  • Meaty flesh perfect for slicing
  • Excellent heirloom variety for home gardens
  • Tolerant to cracking and splitting
  • Does well even in hot climates
  • Indeterminate vines produce all-season

Cons

  • Prone to blossom end rot if irrigation is uneven
  • Vulnerable to disease and pests like other heirlooms
  • Fruits can be smaller than typical beefsteak types
  • Seedlings may be weaker and slower-growing
  • Rarely found for sale, must grow your own
  • Irregular oblate shape not suited for canning

What Makes Black Krim Tomatoes So Special?

Rich, Complex Flavor

Of course, taste is the number one reason Black Krim tomatoes are so adored. Their flavor is often described as full, sweet, and smoky. With just the right balance of sweetness and acidity, their taste has nuanced salty and umami undertones.

For many tomato lovers, Black Krims offers the most complex and mouthwatering flavor of any variety. They are so delicious that some claim they offer the best tomato-eating experience imaginable.

Gorgeous Color

In addition to knockout flavor, Black Krim tomatoes are treasured for their unique coloration. While not truly black, they offer a beautiful deep reddish-brown to purple hue that is worlds apart from the red tomatoes found in stores.

Their saturated near-black color looks stunning sliced on sandwiches or tossed in salads. Black Krim tomatoes offer a bold pop of color that livens up any dish.

Juicy Texture

Thanks to their plump size and high moisture content, Black Krim tomatoes tend to be exceptionally juicy. When watered consistently, they offer a mouthwatering juiciness that adds to their deliciousness.

Their supple texture also makes them ideal for salsas, sauces, and juices. Simply chop and simmer Black Krims with some onions and seasonings for flavorful homemade tomato sauce or juice with depth.

Growing Your Own Black Krim Tomato Plants

Home gardeners will enjoy cultivating Black Krim tomatoes for their beauty, productivity, and of course – that incredible taste! Here are some tips for growing this heirloom in your vegetable patch:

  • Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your last expected frost date. Plant the seedlings in the garden after hardening them off.
  • Give Black Krim tomato plants plenty of space, at least 2 feet apart in all directions. They grow into large vines.
  • Add supports & trellises since these are indeterminate vines that can reach 6+ feet tall. Sturdy tomato cages or stakes work well.
  • Make sure the plants get 8+ hours of sunlight daily.
  • Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Add mulch to retain moisture.
  • Fertilize with a quality organic tomato fertilizer or compost. Black Krim is a heavy feeder.
  • Harvest fruits when fully ripe or slightly early to finish indoors. Enjoy fresh, canned, or cooked into sauces.

With proper care, a Black Krim plant can supply you with dozens of these delectable heirloom fruits perfect for slicing onto sandwiches, highlighting in salads, or using in all your favorite recipes requiring richly-flavored tomatoes.

Buying and Storing Black Krim Tomatoes

Since Black Krim is an heirloom variety, you may need to source these special tomatoes from a local farmer’s market, or specialty grocer, or grow them yourself. Here are some tips for selecting and storing delicious Black Krim tomatoes:

  • Look for tomatoes with a deep purple-red color and classic oblong shape. Green shoulders are normal.
  • Choose fruits that feel firm and heavy for their size with taut, shiny skin.
  • Avoid Black Krims with bruises, blemishes, or soft spots.
  • Don’t refrigerate! Cold ruins their texture and flavor. Keep at room temp on the counter.
  • Eat Black Krim tomatoes within 2-3 days for peak quality and taste.
  • For longer storage, try canning whole or crushed tomatoes. The rich flavor carries through.
  • Freeze diced or pureed Black Krim tomatoes in sealed bags for later use in sauces, soups, etc.

How does Black Krims Compare to Other Tomato Varieties?

While delicious, Black Krim tomatoes aren’t necessarily the best fit for every gardener. Here’s how they compare to some other popular tomatoes:

Tomato VarietyFlavorCrackingFruit FragilityShelf LifeYield
Black KrimRich, complexProne to crackingDelicateShort shelf lifeLower yield
Better Boy, Big Beef (hybrids)Mild flavorLess crackingNot as delicateModerate shelf lifeHigh yield
RomaMild flavorLess crackingNot delicateModerate shelf lifeModerate yield
Sungold (cherry)SweetSome crackingNot delicateShort shelf lifeHigh yield
Amish PasteMild flavorLess crackingNot delicateLong shelf lifeModerate yield
BeefsteakMild flavorSome crackingNot delicateModerate shelf lifeVery high yield

How to Use Cherokee Purple Tomatoes?

With an extraordinary taste all their own, Black Krim tomatoes are a prime candidate for starring in recipes where their flavor can really shine. Here are some delicious ways to highlight these heirloom beauties:

  • Dress up fresh tomato salads with sliced Black Krim, extra virgin olive oil, herbs, and vinegar.
  • Layer Black Krim slices on sandwiches and burgers.
  • Make bruschetta topped with chunky Black Krim salsa.
  • Craft pasta sauces using roasted or simmered Black Krim tomatoes.
  • Blend into gazpacho or other chilled soups.
  • Pair with soft cheeses, basil, and balsamic reduction to create Caprese salad perfection.
  • Roast Black Krim halves drizzled with EVOO for an easy veggie side.
  • DIY canned whole tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce and paste.
  • Infuse vodka or olive oil with Black Krims to make flavored liquors and oils.

With its dynamic flavor, Black Krim elevates so many dishes. Savor this heirloom tomato at its flavorful peak in your favorite summer recipes.

Wrapping up

The Black Krim truly stands out as a tomato lover’s dream. This heirloom variety won rave reviews for its extraordinary flavor, stunning dark coloration, and versatility in the kitchen. While Black Krim requires some special care when growing, the effort pays off for any home gardener who gets to savor its smooth, tangy taste. Seek out fresh Black Krims at a farmers market or specialty grocer to add intrigue to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more. For the ultimate in garden-fresh flavor, grow your own Black Krim tomatoes and enjoy this Crimean delicacy through the summer and beyond.


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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