We can all agree that some tomatoes certainly taste better than others. Science has now apparently determined why – a compound known as furaneol. Not only has this compound been identified, it is in higher concentrations in tomatoes that taste better – particularly heirloom varieties, but the gene that controls the level of furaneol has also been identified and has been incorporated into breeding programs.
There are a number of varieties that have been recently introduced or just coming onto the market. Look for them at your local garden center or nursery. They are also available from several mail order catalogues. Sources and names of the of the flavor-enhanced varieties include the following. Harris Seeds has Mountain Glory, Red Defender, SecuriTY 28 and Scarlet Red. Stokes Seed carries Scarlet Red and Mountain Glory. Park Seed has ‘Fabulous’. In addition to the flavor-enhancing gene, these varieties are also reported to have high disease resistance, compact growth and produce a large number of tomatoes. Give some of them a try this year and see if, in fact, they do have a better taste.
A web site that has just about all the information, and them some, that you might ever want to know about tomatoes is On-Line Tomato Vine. This site is provided by Keith Mueller a graduate of Kansas State University who is working on breeding disease resistance into heirloom tomatoes.