Discover the Deliciously Meaty Old German Tomato

Discover the Deliciously Meaty Old German Tomato

Key Takeaways

  • Old German tomatoes offer a rich, sweet, and tangy flavor, making them a top-tier heirloom with a distinct old-fashioned tomato taste.
  • Their meaty, juicy texture is perfect for slicing, making them ideal for sandwiches, burgers, and other dishes.
  • Old German tomato plants are highly productive, yielding up to 5 pounds of juicy red slices per plant.
  • These tomatoes tolerate hot and humid growing conditions, making them suitable for a wide range of climates.
  • When it comes to eating fresh Old German tomatoes, there are various delicious options, from classic tomato sandwiches to pasta dishes and more.

Have you been searching for a uniquely delicious, highly productive tomato variety for your garden? Look no further than the Old German tomato. This robust heirloom slicer has been prized for generations thanks to its outstanding flavor, juicy texture, and impressive yields. Keep reading to learn why every tomato lover needs to grow Old German tomatoes!

A Brief History of This Storied Heirloom

The Old German tomato traces its roots back to the late 1800s. This variety was brought to America by German immigrants who settled in Virginia. The Old German quickly became a backyard garden staple thanks to its hardiness and prolific fruit production.

By the 1920s, this tomato had made its way into commercial production and was popular among canneries. Old German tomatoes were canned under the name “John Baer” tomatoes, after the owner of one well-known canning company.

Although hybrid varieties threatened their future in the mid-1900s, the Old German persisted thanks to dedicated seed savers. After all, its time-tested performance in the garden is tough to beat! These days, the Old German tomato has regained popularity with home gardeners and market growers alike.

Quick Fact:

  • Color: Deep red skin and flesh when ripe.
  • Size: 8-12 oz fruits on average.
  • Shape: Round, classically shaped.
  • Texture: Juicy yet firm, excellent for slicing.
  • Flavor: Sweet and rich with old-fashioned tomato tang.
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate vines, 4+ ft tall.
  • Maturity: 75-80 days from transplant to ripe fruit.
  • Yield: Up to 5 lbs per plant or more.
  • Hardiness: Withstands hot/humid climates well.

What you like

  • Excellent heirloom flavor – sweet and rich
  • Meaty, juicy texture perfect for slicing
  • High yields from just one plant
  • Early maturity for a long harvest window
  • Tolerates hot/humid growing conditions
  • Versatile for eating fresh or preserving
  • Easy to grow from seed or transplants

What you don’t like

  • Requires staking for tall, sprawling vines
  • Prone to cracking in heavy rains
  • Not great for commercial shipping

The Flavor and Texture of Old German Tomatoes

One of the main reasons Old German tomatoes have remained so popular over the generations comes down to their distinctly excellent flavor and texture.

The fruits ripen to a rich, sweet tomato taste that strikes the perfect balance between sugary and tangy. The flavor has a deep tomato essence with a nice acidic punch – characteristics of a top-tier heirloom.

When eaten straight from the vine at peak ripeness, Old Germans offer an unbeatable garden tomato experience. The ripe fruits fill the mouth with intense umami richness. Simply delicious!

The texture of these tomatoes contributes greatly to their appeal. Old Germans have a meaty, substantial feel in the mouth. The flesh is juicy without being watery.

This firm yet tender texture makes for perfect slicing tomatoes. The fruits are cut into thick, satisfying rounds that don’t fall apart or get mushy. They have just the right sliceability for incredible sandwiches and burgers!

The medium size of 8-12 ounces gives eaters plenty of rich tomato essence in every bite without overwhelming the palate. This variety truly shines brightest when enjoyed fresh and raw.

So next time you sink your teeth into a ripe, garden-warm Old German tomato, pay attention to the magical medley of sweet and tart flavors plus the pleasing firm-yet-juicy texture. It’s a truly old-fashioned tomato experience worth savoring!

How to Grow Wagner Blue Green Tomatoes

Cultivating a thriving crop of Old German tomatoes is a delightfully rewarding endeavor for any gardener who adores summer’s bounty. But be warned – these plants need a bit of special pampering to unleash their full potential!

First, it’s wise to start these seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks pre-frost so they have ample time to grow sturdy and strong before facing the elements. I suggest using a sterile starting mix and giving them full sun exposure in a setup like the Jiffy Greenhouse for best results.

Those tender young seedlings must be hardened off before meeting the great outdoors! This toughening up means gradually exposing them to partial shade, wind, and temperature fluxes for 7-10 days. It may seem harsh, but trust me, it saves shock later.

When planting day finally arrives, scout your sunniest patch and mix in several inches of rich compost – these beauties are heavy feeders! Space the transplants 2-3 feet apart in cages or rows, because let me tell you, they grow with abandon into 4-foot vines.

Consistent moisture is key, friends. I highly recommend mulching and drip irrigation right at the roots. Overhead watering invites diseases, so don’t do it! Prune aggressively too – these plants need airflow.

And for the love of tomatoes, stay vigilant for those wretched hornworms, stink bugs, and fruit worms! They’ll sabotage fruits faster than you can say salsa if you’re not careful. Check daily and treat organically at the first sign of trouble.

Do this, and I guarantee each Old German plant will reward you with up to 5 pounds of juicy red slices. Just imagine the BLTs! Follow these tips, and you’ll be swimming in sweet tomato goodness in no time. But don’t say I didn’t warn you how demanding they are!

Harvesting and Storing Old German Tomatoes

When growing a variety as prolific as Old German, be ready for bountiful harvests! Follow these tips for optimal flavor and shelf life:

  • Allow tomatoes to fully ripen on the vine before harvesting. They should feel slightly soft and smell sweet.
  • Use pruners or gardening shears for clean cuts when picking. Never pull or twist ripe fruits off the vine.
  • Check plants daily during peak season. Promptly collect ripe fruits to prevent splitting or attracting pests.
  • Avoid placing freshly picked tomatoes in direct sunlight, as exposure can cause uneven ripening.
  • Store freshly picked tomatoes at room temperature out of sunlight. Never refrigerate, as cold damages texture and flavor.
  • For preservation, can, freeze, or dehydrate fruits within 6-8 hours of picking for best results.

How to Eat Fresh Old German Tomatoes

When it comes to eating fresh Old German tomatoes, you’ll quickly discover why this variety has stayed popular for so long. The meaty, juicy fruits boast a rich sweetness balanced by tangy tomato tartness. When just picked from the vine, they deliver an incredible garden-ripened flavor.

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy fresh Old German tomatoes:

  • Slice thick cuts to make classic tomato sandwiches on crusty bread.
  • Dice them small to add juicy bursts of flavor to fresh salsas.
  • Skewer grape or cherry-sized varieties for easy appetizers.
  • Toss halves or slices with mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic for instant Caprese salads.
  • Layer slices on pizza, bruschetta, paninis, and crostini before cooking.
  • Chop up fruits to stir into gazpacho, pasta sauce, chili, or scrambled eggs.

However you eat them, Old German tomatoes offer old-fashioned tomato goodness!

Some Famous Old German Tomato Recipes

The sweet, meaty fruits of Old German make delicious additions to these recipes:

  • Pasta Primavera – Toss chopped tomatoes with pasta, vegetables, basil, olive oil, and shaved parmesan.
  • Panzanella Salad – Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, crusty bread, basil, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.
  • Margherita Pizza – Top a crisp crust with sliced Old Germans, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves.
  • Tomato Sauce – Simmer crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, and herbs for homemade marinara.
  • Chilled Tomato Soup – Blend pureed tomatoes with cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, and dill. Chill before serving.
  • Roasted Tomato Crostini – Top baguette slices with Old German halves roasted with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan.

Let the fresh flavor of Old Germans star in these easy, delicious dishes!

Where to Find Old German Tomato Seeds & Plants

Thankfully, Old German tomato seeds remain easy to source from several reputable companies:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – Offers individual packets or in-themed collections.
  • Burpee – Carries Old German in standard and organic seed packets.
  • Seed Savers Exchange – Community-shared heirloom seeds.
  • MI Gardener – Budget-friendly seeds, that ship quickly.
  • Botanical Interests – High germination rate for quality seedlings.

You may also find starter plants at local garden centers and farmer’s markets when stocking up for spring planting. Just look for the name “Old German” or “John Baer.”

With the right seeds or plants, you can start reaping abundant harvests of Old German tomatoes for your family.

Wrapping up!

For over a century, the Old German tomato has been winning over gardeners with its time-tested performance, old-fashioned flavor, and flexible usage. This indispensable heirloom truly deserves a spot in any veggie plot.

Let the impressive yields of big meaty fruits convince you to make Old German your new go-to slicing tomato. Before long, you’ll understand exactly why it has stayed popular with tomato lovers for generations.

This year, try growing some productive and delicious Old German tomatoes for fresh salads, sandwiches, sauces, and more. You won’t be disappointed!


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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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