Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wrapping up the Tomato Season: No. 7 White Cloud

In the haste to write about the winter indoor tomato experiment I completely forgot the final of the 'wrapping up the tomato season' posts. This one is about White Cloud tomatoes, a medium to large white beefsteak tomato that I grew quite late in the season. I planted the seeds at Christmas and managed to get one crop out of a plant weakened by heat and disease. I planted a second but it died just before fruiting. So here is the summary of this interesting tomato.

White Cloud Tomatoes

When I first heard of white tomatoes I thought it was a joke. At this stage though I had barely come to terms with yellow and orange tomatoes so I was quite naive. I found some seeds on Ebay for this tomato called white cloud and thought 'why not give it a try'. I had to feed the fascination somehow and was certainly not going to find white tomatoes grown locally (or so I thought, actually turns out you can buy them at a few places, as shown by this post.)

It is hard to judge these tomatoes who were grown late in the season, being mere seedlings during the devastating heatwave so surviving against the odds. They were plagued by disease, as were all the late tomato crops. Some odd wilting thing that never really went away (The first signs of it were shown in this post. Some of the indoor tomatoes are beginning to show signs of the same disease, does ANYONE know what it is???) The white cloud plant grew very large, even in its shadowy hidey hole of a spot on the balcony garden. It produced quite well given the conditions, although none of the fruit ripened on the vine. As the disease/wilt/overheating took hold I tore off all the non-diseased green fruit and placed it in the window sill. All 13 or so ripened there.

The taste was ok, like a mild yellow tomato. The colour too wasvlike a mild yellow tomato. Indeed some were more yellow than my yellow tomato! I know white tomatoes aren't really white but this guy was advertised as one of the whitest of the white.

The skin was very thick, which made eating these guys in a sandwich or on their own a little difficult. Probably better for cooking with but with such a delicate taste I suspect it would be all but lost with the heat from cooking. Maybe skinned and raw would be the way to go but who has time to skin tomatoes when making sandwiches? I did make one memorable BLT though!

I might grow these again, maybe out of desperation if the other seeds continue not to germinate. I do have another white tomato, called White Tomesol growing in the indoor tomato experiment. I will see how they fare against their cloud counterpart. May the tastier tomato win!


SuburbanGardener said...

Prue, You are daring. I have not quite ventured into the colored tomato arena yet. They are sold in the nursery, but never tried it. That is so cool how you grow tomatoes in a small space. Thanks for the white tomato info!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prue~~ The icky leaves are "Late Blight." It's a fairly common malady among tomato plants and is caused by insufficient air circulation and water on the foliage. I just read that the potato famine in 1840 was caused by Late Blight.

Your white, er yellow tomato looks a lot like "Lemon Boy." I grew it for several years. It was tasty. Now I'm only doing cherry tomatoes. They are the sweetest.

I have to say that sandwich looks mighty tempting.

prue said...

Suburban Gardener - when you have volunteer tomato plants like yours, who needs to buy any! Although coloured ones give exquisite variances to taste. I love the green ones, and mutli coloured red/yellow /oranges best.

Grace - lovely to see you back around. Aha, late blight. Sounds like a distinct possiblity. Not much I can do about things here. Soil gets changed with each new crop (being a container garden), and things are always sterilised but once something gets in all the plants get it.

And if you are ever in Oz I'll make you one of those BLTs!!!

Dan said...

That BLT looks amazing!