Brandywine Sudduth Strain

by - July 16, 2010

I'd read wonderful things about Brandywines, one of the few heirlooms that places like Lowes and Home Depot carry every year. I picked up a seed packet of the Sudduth Strain (the original pink strain) at Logan's. I eagerly planted four sprouts in the back garden in a row with Aunt Ruby's German Green. These plants were very slow to take off, likely because of the morning shade and negligent watering in the spring. The blossoms have finally set fruit, and while the bushes aren't producing heavily, the tomatoes have been large. This week I picked my first ripe one. I read that they need trellises to get even ripening and prevent rotting, and those seemed to help shore up the plants branches as the fruits have been growing heavier.

I had high expectations of this very popular tomato, and while I hate writing anything negative about it, I have to concede that it isn't my favorite. Comparing my notes to the reviews on Dave's Garden, I agree with the descriptors: acidic, mildly sweet, large, juicy, meaty, salty. Someone even called it "the king of all tomatoes." Here's the deal, this one would be excellent on a burger, sandwich or a salad, but as for eating on it's own and as for the cheddar cheese test, it was a little too much of a punch to the taste buds for me. I prefer a milder flavor. However, it is a beautiful pink tomato with excellent texture and consistency. If you like a tangier flavor, this one is definitely for you. I will probably grow it again next summer - just not four bushes.

I pulled out three of my varieties for a photo op and so that I'd have a comparison shot for later identification in the case I forget where I plant each variety. The Red Kiss isn't fully ripe and looks a little orange here, but the pinkness of the Brandywine definitely shows. The size difference is fairly representative of each, although I've noticed that my first wave of ripe tomatoes is much larger than those that come later in the season.

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