The Great White Tomato: A Delightful Taste Sensation

Tomatoes are a staple in many households, beloved for their versatility and undeniable flavor. However, amidst the sea of red, there exists a true gem – the Great White tomato. This heirloom variety has been captivating gardeners and foodies alike with its unique appearance and taste for decades. Imagine biting into a plump, ivory-hued fruit that bursts with a delightful blend of sweetness and tang, reminiscent of a melon infused with hints of guava. Intrigued? Prepare to embark on a journey through the fascinating world of this exceptional tomato.

History of the Great White Tomato

The origins of the Great White tomato are shrouded in mystery, with rumors tracing its lineage back to the Civil War era. While these tales remain unconfirmed, one thing is certain – this variety has stood the test of time, passed down from generation to generation by dedicated gardeners and seed savers.

Before delving into the specifics of this tomato, it’s worth noting that the term “heirloom” refers to open-pollinated varieties that have been cultivated for at least 50 years, often passed down within families or communities. These tomatoes are prized for their rich flavors, diversity, and resilience, a stark contrast to the uniformity often found in modern hybrids.

Great White Tomato: Quick Facts

  • Color: Creamy white to pale yellow when fully ripe
  • Size: Large beefsteak, weighing up to 2 pounds each
  • Shape: Round to slightly oval
  • Taste: Low acidity, incredibly sweet, reminiscent of melons with hints of guava
  • Texture: Dense, meaty flesh with few seeds
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate vines, reaching up to 8 feet tall
  • Days to Maturity: Late season, about 75-85 days from transplanting
  • Yield: High, producing hundreds of tomatoes per plant
  • Disease Resistance: Good resistance due to dense foliage
  • Hardiness Zone: Versatile, thrives in zones 3-12

Pros

  • Unique, delightful flavor unlike traditional red tomatoes
  • Impressively large fruits, perfect for slicing and showcasing
  • Low acidity, ideal for those sensitive to tomato acids
  • Abundant yield over an extended harvest period
  • Adaptable to various climates and growing conditions
  • Dense foliage protects against sun scalding
  • Excellent for fresh eating, cooking, and preserving
  • Visually stunning addition to dishes and gardens

Cons

  • Late maturity requires patience for the first harvest
  • Requires sturdy support due to tall, indeterminate vines
  • Fruits may not store as well as some other varieties
  • Potential for cracking or splitting if overwatered
  • Susceptible to common tomato pests and diseases without proper care
  • Limited availability, may need to source seeds or plants from specialty suppliers

Characteristics of the Great White Tomato

The Great White Tomato is a true gem in the world of heirloom tomatoes, offering a unique and delightful taste experience. Let’s dive into the characteristics that make this variety so special:

Size and Shape

The Great White Tomato is a beefsteak variety, which means it produces large, meaty fruits. Each tomato can weigh up to a staggering 2 pounds! Despite their impressive size, these tomatoes have a smooth, blemish-free appearance with a classic round to slightly oval shape.

Color

As the name suggests, the Great White Tomato is a stunning creamy white color when ripe. As the tomatoes ripen, they transition from green to a beautiful pale yellow hue on the blossom end, indicating their readiness for harvest. The flesh inside is a rich, pale yellow color, creating a striking contrast to the traditional red tomatoes we’re accustomed to.

Flavor Profile

The flavor of the Great White Tomato is truly unique and captivating. These tomatoes are renowned for their low acidity and incredibly sweet taste, often described as reminiscent of melons with hints of guava. The rich, complex flavor profile is what sets this variety apart from its red counterparts, offering a true taste sensation that will delight your taste buds.

Plant Characteristics

The Great White Tomato is an heirloom, indeterminate variety, which means it will continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season until frost sets in. The plants are known for their hardiness and dense foliage, which provides excellent protection against sun scalding.

The vines can reach impressive heights of up to 8 feet tall when grown on a trellis, and they can spread up to 4 feet wide. This vigorous growth habit requires sturdy support from stakes, cages, or trellises to accommodate the plant’s size.

Yield

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Great White Tomato is its impressive yield. A single plant can produce hundreds of tomatoes over the course of the growing season. The fruits grow in large clusters, ensuring a steady supply of these delicious tomatoes from mid-summer until the first frost.

Growing the Great White Tomato

Now that you’re acquainted with the unique characteristics of the Great White Tomato, let’s explore how to grow this magnificent variety in your garden:

Climate and Hardiness

The Great White Tomato is well-suited for a wide range of climates, thriving in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 12. This adaptability makes it a great choice for gardeners across various regions, from the cool Northeast to the warm Southwest.

Sunlight and Soil Requirements

Like most tomato varieties, the Great White Tomato requires full sun exposure, ideally 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. It prefers well-draining, acidic soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, amend your garden bed with compost or well-rotted manure to provide the necessary nutrients.

Planting Instructions

Start your Great White Tomato seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. Once the seedlings have developed several true leaves and all danger of frost has passed, transplant them into your garden, spacing them 2 feet apart if using a trellis or 3 to 4 feet apart if allowing them to sprawl along the ground or using cages.

Watering and Fertilizing

Consistent moisture is necessary for the Great White Tomato. Water deeply and regularly, aiming for about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Mulching around the plants helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. As for feeding, use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer at planting time, and switch to a fertilizer higher in phosphorus and potassium once the plants start setting fruit.

Support and Pruning

Due to its tall, indeterminate growth habit, the Great White Tomato requires robust support from stakes, cages, or a trellis system. Gently tie the main stems to the support as the plant grows. Pruning is not strictly necessary but can improve air circulation and direct more energy into fruit production. Remove lower leaves that touch the soil and pinch off some suckers for better airflow.

Pest and Disease Management

While the Great White Tomato is generally robust, it’s not immune to common tomato pests and diseases. Watch out for pests like aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms, and be vigilant for diseases such as early blight, late blight, and fusarium wilt. Good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and choosing disease-resistant varieties for your other tomato plants can help prevent issues.

For comprehensive guidance on detecting, treating, and preventing tomato diseases and pests specific to the Golden Jubilee variety, refer to detailed pest and disease management guides.

Harvesting Your Great White Tomatoes

The Great White Tomato is a true delight to harvest, offering a bountiful yield of uniquely flavored and visually stunning tomatoes. Here’s what you need to know about the ripening season, identifying when they’re ready for picking, and how to store and enjoy your Great White Tomato harvest.

Ripening Season

One of the remarkable features of the Great White Tomato is its relatively late ripening time compared to other varieties. While you’ll have to exercise patience, the wait is well worth it. These tomatoes typically reach maturity between 75 and 85 days after transplanting.

This later ripening season means that you can typically expect your first Great White Tomato harvest in late summer or early fall, depending on your planting date and location. However, thanks to its indeterminate growth habit, the plant will continue producing fruits until the first frost, giving you a prolonged harvest window.

How to Tell When They’re Ripe

Knowing when to pick your Great White Tomatoes is crucial for ensuring you enjoy their full, sweet flavor. Unlike their red counterparts, the Great White Tomato doesn’t turn a deep, vibrant color when ripe. Instead, keep an eye out for these signs of ripeness:

  1. Color Change: As the tomatoes ripen, they’ll transition from green to a beautiful pale yellow or creamy white hue, particularly on the blossom end.
  2. Softness: Gently squeeze the tomato. When ripe, the flesh should give slightly under gentle pressure, indicating it has reached its peak softness and flavor.
  3. Easy Removal: Ripe Great White Tomatoes should release easily from the vine with a gentle twist. If they resist or require excessive force, they may not be fully ripe yet.

Remember, patience is key. Great White Tomatoes develop their best flavor when allowed to fully ripen on the vine, so resist the temptation to pick them too early.

Storage Tips

Fresh-picked Great White Tomatoes are best enjoyed immediately for maximum flavor and sweetness. However, if you need to store them for a few days, follow these tips:

  • Never refrigerate them, as cold temperatures can dull their flavor and make the texture mealy.
  • Store them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, on a counter or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Properly stored, Great White Tomatoes should last for 4 to 7 days.

If you have an abundance of ripe tomatoes and can’t consume them all fresh, consider preserving them through freezing, drying, or canning. The unique flavor of the Great White Tomato lends itself well to sauces, soups, and other preserved products that you can enjoy throughout the winter months.

Great White Tomato Recipe Ideas

The sweet, melon-like flavor of the Great White Tomato makes it a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes. Here are a few recipe ideas to help you make the most of your harvest:

  • Great White Tomato Gazpacho: Blend ripe Great White Tomatoes with cucumber, red bell pepper, garlic, sherry vinegar, and olive oil for a refreshing and flavorful chilled soup.
  • Great White Tomato Salad: Toss sliced Great White Tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic glaze, and olive oil for a simple yet stunning salad that showcases the tomatoes’ unique flavor.
  • Great White Tomato Jam: Simmer Great White Tomatoes with sugar, lemon juice, and spices to create a sweet and tangy jam that pairs perfectly with cheese and crackers.
  • Great White Tomato Tart: Bake sliced Great White Tomatoes in a flaky pastry crust with caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of cheese for a savory and impressive tart.
  • Great White Tomato Bloody Mary: Blend ripe Great White Tomatoes with vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and your favorite Bloody Mary seasonings for a unique twist on the classic brunch cocktail.

Where to Find Great White Tomato Seeds?

If you’re ready to embark on your own Great White tomato adventure, the first step is securing some high-quality seeds. While this heirloom variety may not be as widely available as some hybrid options, there are still several reputable sources to explore:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – Seeds around $3.00 per packet
  • Seed Savers Exchange – $3.75 for members, $4.75 for non-members
  • Territorial Seed Company – $3.25 per packet
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds – $3.95 per packet

Wrapping up!

The Great White tomato is a true gardener’s delight, offering a unique and rewarding experience. Embrace the magic of this heirloom variety and add it to your garden this season. With proper care, these plants will reward you with an abundant harvest of delicious, fresh tomatoes. Secure your seeds, get planting, and enjoy the exceptional flavors of the Great White tomato!


Share post on
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!


Tomatoabout is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Tomato Varieties

Grape Tomatoes: The Tiny Taste Explosion

If you're a fan of tomatoes, you've likely come across the delightful little gems...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Granadero Tomato: A Vibrant Mexican Heirloom

The world of tomatoes is vast and diverse, with countless varieties boasting unique flavors,...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Golden Jubilee Tomato: A Vibrant and Delicious Gem

If you're on the hunt for a tomato variety that's as stunning as it...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Gold Medal Tomato: A Sweet, Tangy Delight for Your Garden

The Gold Medal Tomato is a true gem in the world of heirloom tomatoes....

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The German Queen Tomato: A Delicious Heirloom Gem

Imagine biting into a tomato that bursts with a sweet, rich flavor reminiscent of...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The German Pink Tomato: A Delightful Heirloom Delight

Imagine a tomato so luscious and bursting with flavor that it redefines what a...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The German Johnson Tomato: A Delightful Heirloom Gem

In the world of heirloom tomatoes, the German Johnson variety stands out as a...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Gardener’s Delight Tomato: A Sweet Gem in Your Garden

If you're a tomato lover or an avid gardener, you've probably heard of the...

By Mohsin
Updated

Latest Posts

Tomato Guide

The 7 Best Places to Buy Tomato Seeds Online

As a passionate gardener, there's nothing quite like the joy of growing your own...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Great White Tomato: A Delightful Taste Sensation

Tomatoes are a staple in many households, beloved for their versatility and undeniable flavor....

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

Grape Tomatoes: The Tiny Taste Explosion

If you're a fan of tomatoes, you've likely come across the delightful little gems...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Granadero Tomato: A Vibrant Mexican Heirloom

The world of tomatoes is vast and diverse, with countless varieties boasting unique flavors,...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Golden Jubilee Tomato: A Vibrant and Delicious Gem

If you're on the hunt for a tomato variety that's as stunning as it...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The Gold Medal Tomato: A Sweet, Tangy Delight for Your Garden

The Gold Medal Tomato is a true gem in the world of heirloom tomatoes....

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The German Queen Tomato: A Delicious Heirloom Gem

Imagine biting into a tomato that bursts with a sweet, rich flavor reminiscent of...

By Mohsin
Updated
Tomato Varieties

The German Pink Tomato: A Delightful Heirloom Delight

Imagine a tomato so luscious and bursting with flavor that it redefines what a...

By Mohsin
Updated