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Favorite Red and Pink Beefsteaks for 2007?

16 years ago

Everyone has their own favorites. Mine, no matter how hard I try to diversify, are still the globed red and pink beefsteaks. I realize you can produce the really large ones that sometimes seem to outgrow their flavor, but I'm making my list for next year and am just curious as to some of the favorite red and pink beefsteaks some of you have tried. I'd like to see how it compares to my list, and if I left out anything.

Thanks! Hope you all had a great growing season!

Don

Comments (33)

  • 16 years ago

    For 2007 Neves Azorean Red became my all time favorite tomato. Sunset Red Horizon is a great tasting tomato also but it is pretty large for a sandwich. Most were over 6" in diameter with many in the 7" to 7.5" range.

  • 16 years ago

    I too go back to my favorites after checking others out. I always go back to Omars Lebanese - its a BIG beefsteak with AWESOME flavor (even though it's a biggie). I always go back to it... I AM looking forward to trying NAR and SRH (from above) next year but I know I'll go back to Omar's.

    Thanks!

    Tom-

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  • 16 years ago

    Not familiar with Red Sunset Horizon. Can you tell more about it? Sounds like a really nice one.

    Don

  • 16 years ago

    Hi DON I have good luck with Ponderosa and daniels heirlooms--for hybirds supersteak and Poterhouse--sungold for cherry and opilaka or roma for paste and eating
    Bill

  • 16 years ago

    Big Zac was my best producer this year. Two plants yielded over 85 lbs. Taste and texture was good. My favorite for taste and texture was Polish closely followed by Marianna's Peace. Production was pretty good too but about half that of Big Zac.

  • 16 years ago

    Not familiar with Red Sunset Horizon. Can you tell more about it? Sounds like a really nice one.
    Don

    ****

    The real and original name for Sunset Red Horizon is Rostova and it was introduced by Seedfest where one of the co-owners is Russian and they introduced many great varieties from that area.

    Due to some arrangement between Seedfest and Tomatofest Gary Ibsen at the latter renamed it from Rostova to Sunset Red Horizon/

    I'ts a large red beefsteak variety with excellent taste.

    Recently there's been a problem and some folks who have purchased seeds from Tomatofest have gotten a red heart shaped fruit with wispy droopy foliage which is not typical for the original variety. If you do a search here at GW you might come up with a thread or two that discusses this.

    I was sent a pack of Rostova from Tomatfest maybe three years ago and the variety was what it should be, so the problem seems to have appeared more recently.

    The folks at Seedfest have said that they're working to make sure the original variety is intact.

    So if you get the right Rostova, it's indeed a very good variety.

    Hope that helps.

    Carolyn

  • 16 years ago

    Don
    E-mail me with your address and I'll be happy to send you some seeds.

  • 16 years ago

    I grew the SRH this year. It was HUGE but did have the oxheart shape. Mine had a tendency not to ripen all the way through. I can't really attest to the flavor because I cut them up and canned them. They were so big that one large tomato would fill a quart jar. As a side note... I just hate it when someone decides to re-name a tomato!

  • 16 years ago

    I agree............one name per tomato variety is plenty!

    The world is confusing enough without any more help

  • 16 years ago

    Don
    You have mail

  • 16 years ago

    For a red beefsteak type, this year Marianna's Conflict was the best tasting, prettiest tomato in the garden. For pink beefsteak, Rose PL from Bakers Creek was excellent.

  • 16 years ago

    jwr6404

    I never did see an email. How did you send it?

    dsides62@bellsouth.net

    Thanks!

    Don

  • 16 years ago

    I sent it to the e-mail you provided using my MSN e-mail account. Attached latest photos as well. I just forwarded both emails from my sent file. Let me know if you got them.

  • 16 years ago

    got them thanks! nice looking toms! and they were producing till late, too, it looks like! Nice!

    Don

  • 16 years ago

    One of my most favorite memories from childhood was having lunch with my parents out in the garden. We would walk out to the picnic table with a cutting board, a loaf of bread, a jar of mayo and some cheese.

    Mom grew 'Beefsteaks' from the six pack she bought every year at the hardware store. She didn't feed them or stake them, instead she simply planted them at the base of an arborvitae and shoved their stems up into the tree as they grew. Papa would go over to the tomatoes and judge which was the biggest and reddest to pick for our lunch. He would pick it, polish it up well against his shirt, then place it on the cutting board and carve it with as much flair as carving the thanksgiving turkey--it was almost a ceremony. Both of my parents are now many years gone, but this memory about the beefsteak tomato sandwiches for lunch is still as clear in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

    'Beefsteak' is still a great tomato, you can find plants almost anywhere in Spring, or you can get the seeds at the dollar store for less than 25 cents a pack.

    T

  • 16 years ago

    They are not gone! They are right here with us today! For all the world to see and love.

    Beautiful. I just loved it.

    Don

  • 16 years ago

    Wonderful Memory! Thanks for sharing. I have a few of those myself... Gardening with Dad... :) Thanks.

    Tom-

  • 16 years ago

    I'm planning on growing Crimson Cushion (the classic "Beefsteak") next spring.

  • 16 years ago

    I'm planning on growing Crimson Cushion (the classic "Beefsteak") next spring.

    ****

    Which is usually sold as the variety Beefsteak or Red Ponderosa, and there are many other synonyms for this one variety.

    It's not so much the classic beefsteak as CCushion, aka Red Ponderosa, aka several other names, served as the variety that allowed the folks who wrote the 1939 Michigan State Bulletin to try and define what the word beefsteak should mean. I've posted their definition here at GW before.

    Is someone actually selling it as Crimson Cushion? That would really surprise me, I think. LOL

    Back in the early 1900's there was great competition between seed companies and names were changed very frequently so that companies could say they had something exclusive, a good selling point but not a terribly helpful practice from the moral point of view.

    Carolyn

  • 16 years ago

    Doof,

    A seed company named Livingston Seed Company in Columbus, Ohio, markets a decent selection of old timey and more modern seeds on contract consignment dispays in big box hardware and farm supply stores here in the Midwest. I've bought some pretty cool seeds from their displays.

    A lady in India was looking for some particular gourds that only were available from specialty vendors on the Net who couldn't ship to India, but I was able to purchase those gourd seeds from the Livingston display in a farm supply store here and send them to India. I got some seeds for really hot peppers in return!

    Livingston Seed Company sells Crimson Cushion seeds in a packet with like a hundred or more seeds for about a buck fifty I think ... can't remember exactly ... but I think I sent a couple of packs to Trudi a year or two ago for her WinterSown free seed offers. Maybe she has some left. Livingston also has a really great producing Brandywine that put on and ripened over 30 tomatoes before I yanked it in mid August due to a garden project needing the space. I'm sure it would've made several more tomatoes into the fall.

    Victory Seed also offers Crimson Cushion in its red tomato section of their online catalog where they say, "this is a very old late-seasoned, wilt-resistant beefsteak variety. The fruits are large, fourteen to sixteen ounce, deeply ribbed, irregular, bright scarlet, juicy, yet solid and very prolific. Nice balance of tart and sweet. A real nice slicing tomato."

    Victory also says about their "Beefsteak" tomato, "90 days, indeterminate. A very old standard variety. Some seed companies list this as a synonym with 'Crimson Cushion' but it appears different enough to us to warrant separate listings. The fruits are large meaty, ribbed and deep scarlet in color. Weights average of about twelve ounces. Fairly soft skinned for easy slicing." Maybe there's been a little genetic drift that leads Victory to their assessment.

    Tomato Growers Supply offers "Beefsteak" with the comment that it is "also know as Red Ponderosa or Crimson Cushion," and that has been my understanding all along.

  • 16 years ago

    Favorite Beefsteaks:

    Red:
    Ramapo F1
    Moskvich

    Pink:
    Winsall
    Brandywine

  • 16 years ago

    Ventmarin collection in France says, "Ponderosa Red, ou Chair de BÂuf, ou Crimson Cushion: Fruit rouge rond aplati de 180 à 350 grammes. Faible dépression à l'attache pédonculaire. 9 sépales. Ombilic de de 5 millimètres en dépression. Ondulation discrète en partie haute. Chair ferme, avec très peu de graines. Croissance très vigoureuse. 85 à 100 jours. Croissance indéterminée. Variété fixée présentée en 1892 par Peter Henderson, Seedsman. Variété citée en 1894 dans le catalogue Vegetable seeds de Peter Henderson & Co. de New York et en 1898 dans le catalogue Nebraska Seed Co. de Omaha au Nebraska."

    Translation: "Ponderosa Red, aka Beefsteak, aka Crimson Cushion: Flattened round red fruit from 180 to 350 grams. Weak depression with the peduncular fastener. 9 sepals. Umbilical point of 5 millimetres in depression. Partly high discrete undulation. Firm flesh, with very few seeds. Very vigorous growth. 85 to 100 days. Unspecified growth. Fixed variety presented in 1892 by Peter Henderson, Seedsman. Variety listed in 1894 in the catalogue Vegetable seeds of Peter Henderson & Co. of New York and in 1898 in the catalogue Nebraska Seed Co. of Omaha to Nebraska."


    Here is a link that may be of interest.

  • 16 years ago

    Is someone actually selling it as Crimson Cushion? That would really surprise me, I think. LOL

    **** As long as a site gives the aka's for the variety, some do, some don't, then I'm OK with it.

    And at that Ventmarin site that was linked to above, some of the other aka's were also mentioned.

    Interesting that Mike Dunton at Victory doesn't see CC and Beefsteak to be the exact same variety. I do wish he had compared the two directly and noted why he thought they deserved separate listings.

    For sure it could be genetic drift, but it also depends on where Mike got his seeds from and he doesn't say.

    Carolyn, looking out at the still falling rain, now over one inch and that translates out to about 12 " plus of snow which I'm not ready for yet. Temp at 38F and falling. Sigh.

  • 16 years ago

    If anyone wants to see the differences between 'Beefsteak' and 'Ponderosa Red' (or Ponderosa Pink) with their own eyes I offer them all in the Your Choice Tomato SASE.

    The full and updated list is on my trade page, if you've already sent for any of my SASEs please feel free to send again. I have a lifetime of seeds to share.

    Personally, I think it's worth the time to find out about the differences or similarities between the older varieties. I've been on a quest recently to find out info about the 'Chalk' tomato and with help from my USAIN friends I've learned so far that Chalk's Early Jewel is placed between Bonny Best and Marglobe for color and characteristics. I'm still looking for info on 'Chalk' but I hope to get that from the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville.

    Beefsteak is a shape, a type, and the tomato named 'Beefsteak', so to me any tomato said to be a beefsteak has to stand against 'Beefsteak' as a comparison. I think they're all great slicers and they all go great on a sandwich with cheese and mayo. Your own locality and garden health will determine which works grows best, but ultimately, once you have a beefsteak that thrives in your garden, the flavor will be what keeps you growing it year to year. In my mind, Mom's 'Beefsteaks' growing into that arborvitae are the zenith of what a meaty, red slicer should be.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Here's the list and info for 'Your Choice Tomato SASE'

  • 16 years ago

    Well, I started at least one (maybe two) threads about my intention, which was to grow the same tomato that my 87 year old mom talks about, which she grew and loved in Arkansas in the 1920's and 1930's as a little girl. Some discussion and poking around came to a consensus that what they were probably growing in Little Rock at that time was Henderson's Beefsteak. My mother knows for a fact that they called the tomatoes they were growing "Beefsteaks," and she definitely perked up and recalled the name Henderson when I read it off of a catalog. Whatever they grew back then, it was most likely NOT a family heirloom, but, instead, whatever everybody else was growing at the time from bulk seeds purchased at the town dry good store. I have no way of knowing for sure what they grew; I'm only trying to make the best guess. If it weren't a special request from my Mom, I'd probably choose something more exotic.

    Yeah, I saw the Crimson Cushion listed at Victory. It was the Victory listings I was reading to my mom when she recognized the name Henderson. She had never heard of Crimson Cushion, but at that time home farmers (with day jobs, like my grandparents) may not have been all that interested in actual variety names. The big red tomatoes they grew they called "Beefsteaks," so that's all I really have to work from.

  • 16 years ago

    Doof,

    You might try to see if there is a Grange in community in Little Rock where your grandparents lived. They may have records going back to that time and perhaps there will be seed varieties named. Another venue would be to contact the Little Rock historical society (if one exists) and see if they can offer any information about that dry goods store, like receipts, journals or shipping records.

    I wish you luck.

    T

  • 16 years ago

    The big red tomatoes they grew they called "Beefsteaks," so that's all I really have to work from.

    ****

    doof, if she recognized the name Henderson and the variety had red fruits and it was in the 20's and 30's, I think that's a good match with Red Ponderosa/ Crimson Cushion, etc.

    Henderson didn't release a variety called just Beefsteak that I can recall, but I'd have to plow thru some piles of stuff to get to the one that would confirm that.

    The original was Ponderosa which dates back to 1891 and was pink, then came Red Ponderosa and then a gold one. And later they inproved on Ponderosa to get the variety Wins All, which is a wonderful pink beefsteak variety.

    So we can assume when your mom said beefsteak that she used it not as a variety name, but rather as an adjective for a shape, etc.

    So Henderson she knows, and to me that suggests Red Ponderosa.

    Carolyn

  • 16 years ago

    Carolyn, thanks for the insight.

    My mom has been very specific all along about the name Beefsteak. Now, I know what you mean, beefsteak is a general description that can apply to a lot of different tomatoes, and there might not even have been a specific "beefsteak" seed available at the time. That being the case, I think they probably grew whatever they were growing and just called it a beefsteak. The fact that Red Ponderosa/Crimson Cushion was common AT THAT TIME, and that it was later renamed Beefsteak (by Henderson?) seems to make it the most likely suspect.

    I wonder when or how the name Beefsteak was reapplied to the tomato. Was that Henderson's idea? Was it a marketing gimmick, or perhaps, I wonder, that they merely renamed it to the popular name used by farmers. That might explain a few things.

    The tomato was definitely a red, not a pink. My mom understands the difference. They picked them before they were fully ripe, with shoulders still green, and allowed them to fully ripen off the vine before eating or cooking.

  • 16 years ago

    I'm lookin for a good salsa tomato....some of the beefsteaks have a blah taste to em....want full rich taste not tart though....but spritey. can anyone suggest one two or three or ? I have alot of tomato and veggie seeds and garlic bulbs any one interested in an exchangin tradin.
    How about that new tomato (sp) Nerves A? its a big red or rose kind...Would that be good for salsa?

  • 16 years ago

    Burpee's makes a hybrid called Mexicana, it is packaged for the Latino community. It's a really fine tom!

    T

  • 16 years ago

    How about that new tomato (sp) Nerves A? its a big red or rose kind...Would that be good for salsa?

    ****

    It's called Neves Azorean Red and seeds are available at Sandhill Preservation and some other places as well. And yes, it would be good for salsa since it's meaty and far from bland.

    Other meaty varieties that might also work well for salsa that are not bland or mild include:

    Red Penna
    Chapman, red
    Wes, blunt red heart
    Coustralee, red
    Zogola, red
    Omar's Lebanese, pink
    Large Pink Bulgarian
    Russian Bogatyr, red
    Aunt Gertie's Gold

    .....for starters

    And one that is tart, and I mean tart, is Granny Smith which was kinda bred for frying and salsa. Has not been a popular variety for fresh eating but may meet your needs.

    But as for tart, you'd be adding tomatillos anyway for salsa, so whether you'd want a really tart tomato as well is your decision.

    Hope that helps.

    Carolyn

  • 16 years ago

    WTF? I also received the oxheart variety from Tomatomolest. It's a good tomato and I'll grow it again this year from saved seed, but it really makes me mad when I get the wrong seed. What's up with Tomatomolest? Two years ago they also sent me something that was supposed to be Kellogg's Breakfast. It was indeed an orange beefsteak, but it had potato leaves. Fortunately, I've since sourced the correct seed.

    Does anyone else like the oxheart "Rostova/SRH" tomato? How does it compare to the real Rostova?

  • 16 years ago

    It looks like the Rostova being sold by TGS is also the one Tomato Fest is selling. It says pin-red oxheart. I will grow it this year as I have the seeds. And sounds like it is a nice one. Still looking for the original one. Sent an email to the original vendor and they said they are out of seed and may have some in late spring to check back. Hoping that someone may have it listed in the SSE yearbook when it arrives. Looking forward to growning both side by side.
    Seedboy we can both compare our results if we get the real one to compare too. Jay