Purple Calabash

Now this is an interesting tomato – in looks and flavor. Nothing wishy washy about this one. First the shape catches your attention – looking almost like a Cinderella pumpkin with its flattened shape and deep ribs and ruffles. They look like those fruit pictured in old medieval art. Color is deep reddish purple with deep colored flesh and some fruit will have green on the shoulders. Fruits are medium in size - averaging about 4-6 oz.  

Now for the flavor – people seem to either love it or don't like it at all. One person said even her chickens didn’t like it.

The flavor is very unique and intense with kind of citrus overtones. Some people relate it to a fruity cabernet wine. Several said it was in their top 5 and grow it every year. You are going to have to be adventurous and try it and decide for yourself.

The fruit store well and are good for cooking and canning, making a rich flavorful addition to sauces.


Story:

This tomato was donated to the USDA seed bank by Texas A&M Univerity in 1963. PI 290857. The origin of this tomato is unknown but most think it originated in Mexico. 

From the Monticello website: Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer in tomato culture; planting this relatively unfamiliar vegetable from 1809, the first summer of his retirement, until his death in 1826. He also noted that tomatoes were grown in Virginia gardens in Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782. The culture of the ribbed and scalloped-shaped Purple Calabash tomato dates to pre-Columbian Mexico. The Aztecs combined the “xitomatl” with hot peppers and ground squash seeds to make a salsa to accompany fish and meat. It is uniquely “acidic,” but with a rich and concentrated flavor. Delicious fresh, this tomato really shines in sauces and pastes.

Color: Dark
Shape: Beefsteak, Paste
Maturity: 80-85 Days
Plant Type: Indeterminate
Leaf Type: Regular
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