Nova Grape Tomato
Inventory, 12 ct : 0
Nova grape tomatoes are a small variety, averaging 2 to 4 centimeters in length, and have an oval to oblong shape with blunt, curved ends and a dark green, dried stem cap. The skin is smooth, glossy, taut, bright orange, and semi-thick, providing a slight snap-like quality when bitten. Underneath the surface, the flesh is dense, orange, and meaty, containing a chewy, soft consistency. Nova grape tomatoes have balanced levels of sugar and acidity, providing a sweet, savory, and rich, tangy flavor.
Nova grape tomatoes are available year-round when cultivated in greenhouses and in the summer through early fall when sown in outdoor gardens.
Nova grape tomatoes, botanically classified as Solanum lycopersicum, are an early-season variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The bright orange grape tomato is an F1 hybrid developed and promoted by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, chosen for its improved growth characteristics. Nova grape tomatoes are considered a gourmet variety, primarily grown by home gardeners and select farmers for small batch orders to chefs. Each season, the tomatoes are hand-picked and are favored by tomato enthusiasts for their bright coloring, savory-sweet flavor, and dense, meaty texture. Nova grape tomatoes mature in approximately 60 days and grow in clusters on vines that can reach up to 2 meters in height. The tomatoes are resistant to many diseases, including fusarium wilt, crack-resistant, and can be planted into the ground, flower beds, or containers.
Nova grape tomatoes are a good source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and are rich in lycopene, a pigmented antioxidant that helps to maintain heart health. The tomatoes also contain vitamins A and C to strengthen the immune system, boost collagen production, and reduce inflammation, and provide lower amounts of phosphorus and potassium.
Nova grape tomatoes have a balanced, classic tomato flavor well suited for raw or cooked applications, including roasting, baking, grilling, and sautéing. The small tomatoes can be used interchangeably with cherry tomatoes in recipes and are popularly used whole or cut in half in salads, grain bowls, and pasta dishes. Nova grape tomatoes can also be sliced and used as a fresh topping on pizza, chopped with herbs for bruschetta, or displayed whole on platters with creamy dips as a bite-sized appetizer. In addition to fresh preparations, Nova grape tomatoes can also be blended and cooked into sauces, simmered into soups, roasted or baked with aromatics as a fragrant side dish, or skewered and grilled for a savory flavor. Nova grape tomatoes pair well with cucumbers, corn, zucchini, melon, aromatics such as garlic, shallots, and onion, cheeses such as feta, gorgonzola, goat, and mozzarella, meats including poultry, beef, pork, and turkey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and herbs such as cilantro, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Whole, unwashed Nova grape tomatoes will keep 4 to 10 days when stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight. The tomatoes can also be stored in a clamshell in the produce drawer for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Nova grape tomatoes are a specialty variety developed and produced at Johnny’s Selected Seed’s research farm in Albion, Maine. Company owner Rob Johnston Jr. purchased the 40-acre farm in 1975 to establish a breeding program, and in the modern-day, the farm has remained the center of the company’s research and trialing efforts. The research farm uses traditional crossbreeding techniques to develop improved cultivars, and the new varieties are selected after extensive employee feedback through guided “field forums” and “crop walks.” Once the new cultivars are chosen, they are labeled as a “Johnny’s Exclusive.” Nova grape tomatoes are one of these exclusive varieties, selected by breeders for their improved flavor, resistance to disease, texture, and appearance. Johnny’s Selected Seeds also became a 100% employee-owned company in 2006, which has allowed the research farm to continue developing and testing new, naturally crossbred varieties through traditional breeding techniques.
Grape tomatoes are descendants of a hybrid tomato variety first developed in Taiwan and were introduced into the United States in 1996 through a grower in Manatee County, Florida. The small tomatoes were named after their similarity in size and shape to a grape and quickly gained notoriety for their longer shelf life, high sugar content, denser texture, and bite-sized nature compared to cherry tomatoes. By the early 2000s, growers across the country were producing grape tomatoes for commercial markets. Nova grape tomatoes were bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine, and were released sometime in the early 21st century. The “Johnny’s Exclusive” variety is sold in seed form on the company’s website, and the tomatoes are grown by select farms for sale through specialty grocers and farmer’s markets. Nova grape tomatoes are also cultivated in home gardens by tomato enthusiasts throughout the United States.