Friday, November 15, 2013

Tomato Patch: Cherokee by another name is Chocolate

Typical Cherokee Chocolate tomato

When I received my seed order from Tomato Growers Supply Co. last winter, it contained a complimentary packet of Cherokee Chocolate tomato seeds.  Hey, chocolate, I thought—what is there not to salivate over?

Here’s how Tomato Growers describes Cherokee Chocolate:  “A stabilized version of Cherokee Purple, this 10 to 16 oz. mahogany-colored variety has excellent flavor and beautiful large fruit.  Very productive plants are vigorous and yield a large harvest of these chocolate-colored tomatoes with the ample size and wonderful flavor associated with Cherokee Purple.”

I’m not sure I know what “stabilized” means in a tomato variety, but my Cherokee Chocolate plants produced more fruit per plant than the Cherokee Purples I’ve grown.  Fruits are larger, mine averaging just under 16 oz., though Chocolate seem more irregular in shape than the global Purple, and slightly more juicy and less “smoky” in flavor, as some catalogs describe the Purple.  I found it more convenient to cut the irregular-shaped fruit in half and then to slice or chunk the two halves.

Will I grow them again next year?  I have left-over seeds stored in the fridge from this year’s complimentary packet, so why not?  But I probably wouldn’t buy another packet unless I really wanted to grow a Cherokee that produces more and larger fruit than Purple.

Cherokee Chocolate tomatoes
sometimes challenge your slicing skills

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob - I heard Craig LeHoullier speak at the Monticello harvest festival in Sept., and he said that Cherokee Chocolate was a mutation of Cherokee Purple, so I guess "stabilized" means that the seed now produces nearly all Chocolate plants instead of the occasional one in a bunch of Purple.

    It sounds marvelous.