What’s My Favorite Tomato?

That’s just not a fair question. It’s not.

During the last weeks, going through seed files and seed catalogs I constantly sigh, exclaim and rejoice as I run across THAT seed! Maybe I haven’t seen it in a while, didn’t include it in the APP, haven’t planted in a while – whatever. But it’s so nice to find it, remember friends’ reaction to the plant, or cooking with the fruit, to recall what it looked like rambling across a fence or over it’s way-too-small cage…

Tomatoes inevitably bring back memories of all kinds. Yes, they are links to our own personal history. So how is it exactly that we can recall which of all those memories is the best, tastiest, and overall most outstanding? Can we really? And then this year’s experience may be so markedly different than last year’s right?

While it’s impossible, unless you keep a very thorough journal, to remember all parts of every season there are those varietal stars that do reappear each season to remind you of why you so love them.

Jaune Flamme is one of those tomatoes for me. My favorite of all time? OK,I won’t commit. But one of the loves of my tomato life? Yes.

People pronounce the name in different and entertaining ways, which cracks me up. “John Flahm”, “Jawn Flammy” and “Juan Flammay” will all be asked for this season, I promise you. But no matter what you call this little beauty it’s one that I will miss if it’s not growing in my garden or field.

A French heirloom and a little bundle of orange joy, it’s double the size of the largest cherry, so it qualifies as a plum or saladette. It grows on a light but energetic plant that is early to produce in almost every season. When it’s really happy you will find a slight pink blush on the blossom end of the fruit. The taste is tart and bright, perfect for drying (if you cut it up into small pieces), salads or right off the vine with a pinch of good salt.
And even though it’s early, which is a trait I adore in any tomato, it can continue like a champ through the season if properly tended. Last season one of my plants produced pear-shaped versions of this variety and I can’t wait to see if the seeds I saved will produce the same this year…

So there. I named one. I love it. I do.