With the fruit all gone, there was no reason to leave the plants in place, and I was eager to take them down before the foliage went really soggy, so yesterday I cut them all down and bagged up the blight-infested greenery for dispoasl at the council tip. All that is left now is a line of short stumps:
Actually, one plant did escape the cull - the "Sungold" one. Despite being very tatty at this late stage of the proceedings, it is still producing some viable fruit:
So the tomato season is finally drawing to a close for another year (sigh...), and it will probably be many months before this colourful salad we ate last night can be repeated. Fortunately the freezer is packed with tubs of tomato sauce to keep us supplied during the Winter months.
That salad is the one we call "Gaucho Salad" - named after the restaurant in which we first encountered it. It is made with tomatoes of as many different shapes, sizes and colours as you can muster, with very finely-sliced shallots and (my own variation) a sprinkling of fresh Thyme leaves. A few minutes before serving, it is dressed with a little red wine vinegar.
This is my assessment of the various varieties I grew this year:
1. Ferline. Slow to produce ripe fruit, but very heavy crop of huge fruit. Good taste. The best all-rounder.
2. Orkado. Very good yield of big, even-sized regular fruit. Early cropping. The best in terms of taste.
3. Cherokee Purple. Heavy yield. Big fruit. Very good-looking. A lot of seeds, so not ideal for making sauce, but very impressive in salads.
4. Sungella. Good crop of medium-sized yellow fruit. Succumbed quickly to blight.
5. Tigerella. Unremarkable this time. Decent quantity of fruit, but the characteristic green stripes were not much in evidence.
6. Red Pear (Franchi selection.) Visually interesting, but a low yield. Several were very misshapen.
7. Zapotec Pleated. Very deeply-ribbed fruit with few seeds. Good for sauce. Skins a bit tough.
8.Russian Black. Fruit mostly very misshapen and very prone to cracking and splitting. Some went bad before ripening.
9. Sungold. Good crop of small golden fruit in massive trusses. Skins initially very tough; softer later on.
10. San Marzano. Late to crop due to poor location. Reasonable crop, but fruit rather uninteresting. Few seeds, so good for sauce.
11. Maskota. The only one grown as bushes (others were cordons). Good yield over lengthy period. Rather uneven ripening (a bit blotchy). Great for snacking - very popular with the grand-children!