Thursday, 9 August 2012

Jaune Flammé Tomato

Jaune Flammé is a delightful little tomato that we grew last year for the first time. We picked this years tomato list entirely by taste preference and usefulness in canning, and forgot to select a variety for earliness. Fortunately, Jaune Flammé is a fairly early tomato, starting to produce in about 70 days from planting out.

The tomatoes are not large - about the size of an egg, or a golf ball - and a brilliant, glowing orange to vermilion through and through. The flavour is just as intense, balancing strong acidity with rich sweetness and fruitiness. They are what I would consider to be a salad tomato, too juicy to cook and a bit messy for sandwiches, although that doesn't stop me from trying... Actually, a lot of people rave about them, and use them for salads, sandwiches, sauces and even for drying, which does surprise me a bit. They really are so very soft and juicy.

The plants are vigorous and tall, which helps them survive what looks like it will be a regular assault by septoria spot in our garden. They are indeterminate, and even though they start producing early, they will continue to churn out nice little tomatoes all summer long. In fact, we got a bit tired of them by the end of last summer. Right now though, they are a real treat, and have not worked up a sufficient head of steam that each and every one isn't spoken for as it comes off the vine.

Jaune Flammé is generally regarded as reasonably disease resistant, but it may be prone to blossom end rot. I've had no troubles with that, but then I haven't, with any of my tomatoes. Reports are that it produces well in cool wet summers and hot dry summers. Both the summers we've grown if have thus far been hot and dry, and it's produced well for us. They are crack resistant too.

Amy Goldman wrote of them in her book, "Heirloom Tomato, From Garden to Table", that Flamme (as she refers to it "originated with Norbert Perreira of Helliner, France. Commercialized in 1997 by Tomato Growers Supply Company." Not a bit more information can I find, but it is generally described as an heirloom tomato. Certainly, it is open pollinated. It has also become a very popular tomato world-wide in just 15 years. Such is the speed of a seed - and a flavour.

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