These tomatoes from the All-America Selections trials crushed the competition with their outstanding flavor.
Each year, scores of new tomato varieties appear on the scene to tempt gardeners. But which are really worth a spot in your garden? It all comes down to flavor. Disease resistance is important. Ease of growing is helpful. But what's the point of a flavorless tomato? Thankfully there is an organization that does the hard work for you, growing and judging new tomato varieties to find the best ones to grow for their off-the-charts flavor.
All-America Sections (AAS), a 91-year-old non-profit organization founded to select the very best vegetable, fruit, and flower varieties, receives dozens of prospective award-winning plants from breeders across the world each year. AAS trials them at more than 80 certified gardens around the country to determine how each new variety fares in all kinds of growing conditions. The best-of-the-best are designated All-America Selections Winners.
Three outstanding tomato varieties were chosen as AAS Winners from the 2022 trials. Their delicious flavor was a big factor, but they also scored high for disease resistance and high yields. These three new tomato varieties and other AAS winning plants are available from seed sellers such as Park Seed.
1. Pink Delicious Tomato
'Pink Delicious' has the flavor, shape, and texture of a prized heirloom tomato while boasting the disease-resistance of a modern hybrid. A high yielding variety that produces fruit averaging 11 ounces or so, it's a beefsteak type tomato that will elevate every BLT to gourmet status. Heirloom varieties are known for their thin skin that tends to split when soil moisture fluctuates. 'Pink Delicious' resists cracking and tolerates moisture changes with greater ease than its heirloom counterparts.
AAS judges describe 'Pink Delicious' as a uniquely sweet pink tomato. When it comes to growing, this 2022 AAS Winner starts easily from seeds and has superior disease resistance in the Southeast and Midwest regions when compared to other varieties. Fast-growing 'Pink Delicious' benefits from a strong trellis, tomato cage, or other support because this indeterminate variety gets about 6 feet tall. The large, meaty fruits ripen early in the growing season, starting about 84 days from transplanting in the garden. The plant will continue producing fruit for several weeks.
2. Purple Zebra
The pretty dark red and green striped skin gives you an idea of how 'Purple Zebra' tomato got its name. Slice the fruits open to reveal deep mahogany flesh, making them a gorgeous addition to a fresh salad. The giant cherry-type tomatoes average around 3 to 4 ounces and are about the size of a billiard ball. They have a rich flavor with a touch of sweetness.
Growing just 2 feet wide and about 3 feet tall, this disease-resistant tomato variety will grow well in a large container, as well as in the garden. No matter where you plant it, provide a sturdy trellis for best support of the trailing stems and 150 to 200 fruit that will develop over the course of the growing season. Skin cracking is common among cherry-type tomatoes, but 'Purple Zebra' has excellent resistance.
3. Sunset Torch
'Sunset Torch' tomatoes are the perfect size for salads, kabobs, and cocktails–that is, if you can resist popping these flavorful fruits in your mouth straight off the plant. This vigorous indeterminate cherry-type tomato variety is an AAS Winner not only for its sweet, fruity flavor but its bountiful yields too. Expect each plant to produce 250 to 300 fruits that are deep orange at the stem end and striped golden yellow with an overall rose blush. The plants have excellent disease resistance and the skins resist cracking.
Plant 'Sunset Torch' in the garden or in a container. Staking is essential for the rambling plant. It grows 5 to 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. Loosely tie stems to the sturdy stakes as they grow. 'Sunset Torch' promises to be just as lovely in the garden as it is on a plate, thanks to its dense tresses of colorful fruit.