I have a new favorite canning tomato. These beauties are a variety called Gezahnte, from Baker Creek Seeds, who reports they are from Switzerland. As you know, I pick tomatoes just after they begin to break color, so the squirrels don't eat them. I bring them inside to ripen, and these ripen beautifully inside over just a couple of days and become a bright pink-red.
They are hollow-ish inside. So when you pick them, they feel very light. But what it means is that there is very little juice/seeds/pulp, which makes them perfect for canning.
But they also look really gorgeous when sliced (like flowers!), and taste great, so they're good for fresh eating, too. And not terribly messy because they are not terribly juicy.
The plant itself is super-prolific. I have two of these vines growing, and each has at least 15 fruits on them at the moment, with just as many already picked and processed.
They form in these adorable clusters. I just love their pleated shape.
The plants have done wonderfully despite our hot days (mid-90's for months) and cool nights (around 60 still every night) and dry conditions. They did have blossom end rot early on, and I lost about 10% to that, which seems about typical for my garden. However 10% is nothing on a plant this prolific, so it doesn't bother me so much.
The fruits are between 6-8 ounces; not terribly large. When canning, they slip their skins extremely easily and pull apart effortlessly for crushed tomatoes. Another plus is that they keep their color after canning.
The cans on the right are the Gezahnte; the ones on the left, other kinds of tomatoes mixed. You can see how much prettier the Gezahnte cans are.
So this tomato is a new winner for me, and I plan to grow it every year. I think my four favorite paste tomatoes are Opalka, Amish Paste, Ukranian purple, and this one. I won't mess around with any others from now on - just these four.