Tomato Report II: Franchi Red Pear

Franchi’s Red Pear tomato is a beefsteak variety we’ve grown for several years. It tastes phenomenal either fresh or cooked. From the Seeds from Italy website:

This is an old North Italian variety specially selected by Franchi Sementi. It is an indeterminate red, pear-shaped beefsteak. An outstanding producer of huge (as in 8-18 ounce) very tasty fruit. Great fresh eating. Early for such a large plant (70-75 days).  This is not the small pear shaped tomato called red pear by US Seed companies. Pear shaped with vertical ribs . . . Really meaty containing few seeds. Indeterminate.

One problem I’ve had with it is that it’s not super productive, at least in my vegetable beds.  I also think I may have over-watered it this summer and, consequently, it’s not quite as flavorful as last year’s more “meaty” crop.

So what beefsteak varieties do you like? I’m looking for suggestions for next year–hybrids or heirlooms.

ETA:  Just thought of something that would be helpful–if you rec. a tomato, tell us where you live. It will really help others searching for a good tomato that works well in their climate.

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  1. So, overwatering causes tomatoes not to be so flavorful? I have never heard this before. Most people have trouble keeping tomatoes watered in the South. So, now I have one more thing I can use to blame my tomato failures on. Goody

    Where do you purchase these seeds?

  2. my favourite tomato is the lime green salad. its very tastie, not as big as a beefsteak though. I have brandywine seeding at the moment, my first year trying this one.

  3. I love Mortgage Lifters and Hillbilly Potato Leaf. Usually get seeds from the seed savers exchange

  4. I grew Goldman’s Italian American tomatoes down here in San Diego county, and they turned out great. Not a huge producer (although mine grew like mad), but the fruits are MASSIVE – well over 1lb each, and it all turned out to be just enough for slicing, salsa and various canning options. I got the seeds from Bakers Creek, and I’m definitely growing them again next year.

  5. For flavor, I favor the German Striped and Cherokee Purple, neither of which is generally immensely productive although for some reason I’ve had fairly large numbers of smallish CP’s this year. For productivity plus taste, the Brandywine. For productivity in a decent tomato, the Amish Rose.

    This is in the hot and humid US South.

  6. Greetings from here in New Zealand – my favourite tomato, grown for the first time last year is German red strawberry, the plant grew huge with very large fruit, so good for slow roasting in the crock pot with a red onion and herbs.

  7. We grow tomatoes in inland northern California and the best bar none large tomato is the ‘heirloom’ called Cherokee. Huge and savory sweet. Lots of big fruit, each one just gorgeous. Sliced on bread they are incredible for breakfast. We don’t grow anything else!

    These are also grown successfully further south in the Capay Valley (W of Sacramento).

  8. This variety looks interesting. I will have to see if I can find it.

    My climate is a little different from yours as I live on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada, but I imagine there are many tomatoes that would work for both of us.

    One of my favourite heirlooms is ‘Bull’s Heart’. It is determinate and also grows large meaty flavourful fruits. As the name suggests, they are somewhat heart shaped. Unfortunately, it is not a huge producer, so….I only plant one or two of them each year. I give most of my space to something that will give me lots of canning fruit, like romas, and I leave a smallish section to heirlooms and trial varieties.

    I am trying a new heirloom this year (an oxymoron, if ever I heard one). It is called ‘Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter’. It is indeterminate and is already over 6′ in my garden and covered with medium to large sized fruit. Unfortunately, none of them are ripe just yet, so I can’t advise on flavour. I planted it because I fell for the story of its development. I hear that it is tastey so I have hope for it.

    I have a few other heirlooms in the garden this year but none of them have really stood out yet. Of course, none of them are quite ripe enough for me to have tasted them so, they may still turn out to be remarkable 😀

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with the rest of us the way you do. I have learned a great deal from both of your books and regularly enjoy your blog.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to review your planting experiences. I’m taking notes as I begin thinking about next year with this year’s garden experiences still fresh.

  10. An interesting thing about tomatoes is that if you save your own seed, the variety acclimatizes itself to your climate and will do better year after year (can’t remember where I read that).

    Which doesn’t help much if your climate keeps changing, which ours is up here in Portland.

    I’m still working on finding a variety I like well enough to plant a second year.

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