|Supersauce Tomato in hand, 3 big Mamas on right|
Yes, it’s been a hard season so far. Lotsa water has encouraged fungal diseases and blight among other things. But it seems churlish to complain since we’re often faced with drought, so given a choice, I’ll take this summer over a lot of others we’ve gardened through.
|Supersauce sliced upper left; Big Mamas sliced for roasting|
|Roasted paste tomatoes for snacks on toast with goat cheese|
I’ve always planted Big Mama paste tomatoes since discovering that variety a decade or more ago (hard to tell, life flies by so fast; it might even have been two decades ago). They are reliable producers, even when hit with early blight, and are a dream to work with in the kitchen, whether it’s stuffing them peeled, halved and raw into a canning jar or peeling and rough-chopping them for sauce, bullion or salsa. This year, I tried a new paste variety, ‘Supersauce’ touted as the largest paste tomato ever. I believe it now that I’ve seen it. They are HUGE. And meaty. Even more so than Big Mamas. Interestingly, though, the plants do not seem to be as hardy as the Big Mamas, and they don’t seem to produce as many fruits. (I expect the hybridizers will improve on them as the years go by). Additionally, they are a little tricky to handle when everything’s wet and juicy, as it is when you’re peeling and chopping. The Supersauce are large enough that I sometimes lose my grip on them; it’s like trying to holding onto a wet bar of soap. Some days, I could probably be on America’s Funniest Home Videos if there were anyone around with a camera in hand.