Today I'm dreaming of sweet, beautiful heart shaped tomatoes. The fantasy of picking fruit warmed by the sun is tantalizing to say the least. Over the years I've fell in love with many varieties, often called oxheart tomatoes.
I buy 'Heart of Italy' plants from Hahn Nursery every year, but there are lots of cool varieties out there. This one is prolific, tasty and stores well too at the end of the season.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sell 'Pink Oxheart,' it looks a lot like the one I'm growing. It's meaty, with an old-fashioned taste. Reviews on the site show it's great tasting and disease resistant too.
Seeds from Italy sells 'Cuor di Bue' (heart of bull). From the catalog-"Meaty, deep red flesh. Real tomato taste. The tomato all our Italian grandfathers grew. For fresh eating or sauce. Indeterminate. 70+ days. Indeterminate. Very large vigorous growing plant; these are quite productive and relatively early." This one also received good reviews.
'Hungarian Heart' is offered by Seed Savers Exchange. "Said to have originated in a village 20 miles from Budapest around 1900. Jerry Muller of Alabama (formerly of Tennessee) was the first SSE member to offer this variety; in 1988 he listed his seed source as Ed Simon of Pennsylvania. Huge pink oxheart fruits weigh upwards of one pound. Very few seeds and almost no cracking. One of our favorites for fresh eating, canning, and for making roasted tomato sauce."
Tomatofest has an entire page devoted to heart shaped tomatoes. 'Anna Russian,' 'Mrs. Houseworth and 'Reif Red Heart' are just a few of the cool varieties.
It's too early to start seeds, but this is a great time to order some seeds. Here's a primer for planting them inside.
Happy Valentine's Day, I'm fantasizing of heart shaped tomatoes growing in the warm summer sun.