Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tomato Patch: Delizia, a French import

Delizia Hybrid tomatoes

Howard County Master Gardener Kent Phillips and I swapped plants of our “trial” varieties last spring, and in the transaction I got a transplant of Delizia Hybrid, seed of which Kent got from Cook’s Garden.

The Cook’s Garden catalog describes Delizia, a “customer favorite,” this way: “Tomato connoisseurs rave about the marmande variety's meaty flesh and sweet deliciousness. This hybrid brings a new level of disease resistance to this flavorful classic French beefsteak. 'Delizia' is exceptionally vigorous, producing heavy yields of large, succulent, pumpkin-shaped 1 lb. fruits. A standout tomato in our 2010 and 2011 summer trials.”

I’ve grown tomatoes, it seems to me, longer than they’ve been invented, but I had to look up the meaning of “marmande” variety.  “Marmande” is the French term for tomatoes that the English call “beef” and Americans call “beefsteak.” If I were alert and not dreaming about tomatoes, I should have figured out the meaning from the catalog description.

Does Delizia rate a “rave” notice?

I may not be a “connoisseur,” but I’ve tasted scores of tomato varieties, and Delizia’s flavor is, well, delicious.  Ok, I give it a “rave.”  It also has been disease resistant with heavy yields.  The fruits are shaped something like small, squat pumpkins with modest ribs, but the ones on my plant averaged about the 7 or 8 oz. given in the second catalog description, not the one-pounders of the first catalog description.

This yummy variety has one downside.  It’s so squat—most less than two inches tall—that core removal takes away a significant part of the fruit, leaving relatively little flesh left for eating.  With so much of the tomato going into the recycle bucket rather than onto a plate or into a sandwich, I think I’ll have to call Delizia a great “chunker” but not a good “slicer.”

Will I grow Delizia next year?  I will if Kent gives me another plant.  Hey, Kent….


  1. I am really enjoying your tutorial on tomato growing. Love knowing there is a Delizia! Thanks so much.

  2. Bob,
    I have lots of Delizia seeds, you can have as many plants as you want, because I won't be planting it again. Delizia's biggest drawback is the amount of waste resulting from core removal. While Delizia's taste is good and yield per plant excellent there are lots of good tasting, high yielding tomatoes that yield more useable meat per fruit.