|Solid Gold tomatoes hang in long clusters|
I was attracted to Solid Gold because I wanted both a change of pace from the Sweet 100 and Sungold cherry varieties I’d grown in recent years and also a variety that wouldn’t crack after every shower or rain, as Sweet 100 and Sungold usually do.
The Tomato Growers Supply Co. catalog description of Solid Gold seemed just what I was searching for: “Clusters of one-inch long, golden yellow grape tomatoes appear in great numbers through an impressively long-growing season. This plant just seems never to give up! In our trials, it was the first tomato to ripen and the last one to stop producing. The tomatoes are very crack-resistant and once harvested have a long shelf life while retaining their delicious, sweet taste.”
That description turned into reality in the Tomato Patch. I’ve been amazed at the many cascading clusters—most with 16 to 22 tomatoes—growing from the vigorous plants. The first tomato I picked this season was a Solid Gold, and they joined Juliets in the last colander of small tomatoes I picked before frost ended Tomato Patch 2013. Solid Gold did not crack early in season, but about 50% of the fruit did in the last month or so. Shelf-life seems eternal—well, almost—with Solid Gold fruits sitting on our kitchen counter for days sometimes without wrinkling or showing any signs of collapse. When fully ripe, Solid Gold is both sweet and tomatoey, but not candy-sweet like the smaller Sweet 100 and Sungold cherry varieties.
Bottom line: Solid Gold is a fine variety definitely worth a repeat next summer. It is my current favorite “snacker.” For Tomato Patch 2014 I’ll have to decide whether to plant Solid Gold again or return to the super-sweet Sungold.
|Solid Gold: Solid and semi-sweet snacker|