Founder & President
Tommy Toe tomatoes are often referred to as an Australian variety. This may not be strictly true, but, let's say, they belong in the Australian backyard.
Even by the standard vegetables-to-grow challenge, Tommy Toes are welcoming to the novice gardener.
I think the term 'cherry' does these darlings a disservice as the ones I prefer to grow are bigger than that, bigger than 'grape' tomatoes-- but smaller than their bulkier tomatery kin.
But they are so sweet! One mouthful is all it takes.
No need to peel as in the grand scheme of things their smaller size warrants not much skin covering.
This year I have been experimenting with other tomato varieties and I've found the exercise disappointing. I do that every now and then, but are always forced back to Tommy Toe loyalty.
Tommies are so reliable, so prolific when they fruit and so undemanding of intervention that when they self sow -- as they will -- it is difficult to deny the offspring a life.
The worse thing you can do growing TTTs (Tomy Toe Tomatoes), is grow other varieties with them because when the toms self seed you don't know what you've got coming on-- most times -- until the fruit forms.
I say:If you are gonna have tomato 'weeds' --and you will-- let them be TTT.
You can string TTT up or trellis them, but they are real ramblers and like headstrong adolescents, prefer to find their own way about. Unsupervised, I let them bulk up into a bush then add sticks to the sides so that they don't steal too much of the bed.
Currently, I'm growing TTTs among Vetiver Grass clumps and using the clump heads to support the TTT stems. If you ensure that there's a bulky, fibrous mulch layer underneath the tomato bush, you are less likely to encourage fruit rot -- even in wet weather, despite the leaves and fruits resting on the ground.
TTT are more resistant to fruit fly and fungi so that you can do season after a season infection free.
From only a few bushes I can freeze enough TTT to last me for a year of future cooking.
That sweet, slightly tangy, flavour is a subtle addition to a dish, way better than the overpowering richness you get from using Romas or other paste taste tomatoes.
And you can cook via arithmetic: add 4 or 6 or 10 tomatoes as your taste buds dictate. Frozen TTT stay separated like marbles in a bag.
I find it best to sweat TTT by braising until they explode out of their skins. Before serving mash them if necessary. Let the heat work is magic.
They are excellent added to the oven roast 15-20 minutes before serving. A quick microwave will also offer flavour burst.
You can chop them, but use a serrated knife to get a clean cut and limit yourself to quarter divisions.
For drying, a half slice will suffice.
Because they have such a small surface area, TTT ripen quickly.
However, more so than other varieties you need to pick them with some stem on so that you don't cause a wound in the skin. Wounded they will spoil quicker -- especially if you store them outside the fridge (as you should).
Fortunately you can often remove a whole stem loaded with fruit when you harvest.
If you are a tomato sandwich person then I guess the TTT won't suit your yearning for a broad slice. This is why salsas were invented.
The trick with TTT --indeed with all tomato salsas ( as per Pico de Gallo)-- is to roast or grill or dry fry the tomatoes first.That beckons an altogether higher flavour level.
Myself and the committee of management of The Tommy Toe Tomato Appreciation Society hope you have enjoyed these shared thoughts on what is so often a neglected member of the tomato family. TTT may not boast an exotic name but like damper and billy tea, it warrants it belongs in your mouth.
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