This has been a year of lamentations on the mass drowning of mine and everyone I knows’ gardens. A few plants, although stunted, have managed to put on but by no means in the quantities of a more typical season. As with every summer though, a standout has shown through, this one particularly impressive for not only putting on in mass quantities but for doing so under the strenuous conditions of down pours and unseasonable cool turning immediately into drought and heat. As a planned segment of Crescent in the Pines is to highlight prized heirloom varieties and other garden selections of note, this beaut seems an obvious choice for the first feature of the Heirloom series.
That standout is Black Vernissage, a saladette sized tomato ironically sent to as a free gift with my spring seed order but one I will grow every year hereafter, not only for its deliciousness but for if prolific nature and its ability to make one of the best sauces I’ve ever gotten from any tomato.
Black Vernissage features everything great about both paste tomatoes while also maintaining the best flavor qualities of chocolate and black toms and with a light acidity and nearly no sweetness it has a sort of savory pepperiness en par with the scent of fresh sweet basil. That combination of rich flavor and being particularly meaty, the Vernissage lends itself well to a heavy red sauce where it needs little herbal assistance in creating a fresh, rich flavor.
Black Vernissage Tomato (solanum lycopersicum) originated in the Ukraine. Also known as Vernisazh Chernyi. Thick, crack resistant skin. Deep burgundy and fleshy pink, striped with green. Prolific and easy to grow. Indeterminate, 70-75 days.