Marriage Cherokee Carbon Heirloom Tomatoes
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Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomatoes are large, robust beefsteak tomatoes that weigh an average of 10 to 12 ounces. The unblemished fruits have a beautiful dark purple coloring and they are full of rich, sweet yet tangy tomato flavor. The resilient indeterminate tomato plants will continue to grow and set fruit all season long up until frost along sprawling vines that can reach 4 to 6 feet. With such tall vines and heavy fruits, these plants are recommended for caging or trellising for added support.
Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomatoes are available in the summer.
Like all tomatoes, Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomatoes are scientifically named Solanum lycopersicum, formerly Lycopersicon esculentum, and they are members of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family, alongside the potato and eggplant. Heirloom Marriage varieties, like the Marriage Cherokee Carbon, have two heirloom parents, producing flavorful, aromatic fruit with the favorable clean look of hybrids, while also delivering a larger harvest than most older heirloom cultivars.
Tomatoes are a good source of calcium and iron, and they also contain decent amounts of potassium. They are rich in vitamins C and A, and they contain all four major carotenoids: alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These carotenoids may have individual benefits, but also have synergy as a group, as they interact to provide health benefits such as potentially protecting against cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes are particularly known for their high amounts of lycopene, thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids and believed to play a role in fighting certain types of cancer, notably prostate cancer.
Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomatoes are great for fresh eating, and their large size, characteristic of beefsteaks, lends well to slicing onto sandwiches, burgers, or salads. Cut tomatoes lengthwise from stem to blossom end to retain more juice in each slice. They can be diced and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and basil for a simple bruschetta to serve on toasted baguette. They are also delicious sautéed, grilled, and stewed, and they pair well with soft cheeses and fresh herbs, notably Italian flavors but also dessert style herbs like mint. Store tomatoes at room temperature and refrigerate only extra-ripe tomatoes to keep them from ripening any further.
The Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomato is part of the Heirloom Marriage collection from PanAmerican Seed. PanAmerican Seed is an internationally recognized flower and vegetable breeder based out of West Chicago, Illinois in the United States, though they have research facilities in North and South America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe. They are known for producing quality high-performing cultivars. Their Heirloom Marriage series crosses two heirloom varieties, selected for the best attributes of old and new tomato varieties like shape, color, and flavor, to create an offspring that is higher yielding, less blemished, and earlier but retains all the great flavor of the parents. They describe the series as, “new twists on old garden favorites.”
The Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomato is a cross of Cherokee purple and carbon tomatoes, both of which are famed for their delicious, classic heirloom tomato flavor. When planting, remember that tomatoes are not hardy cultivars and they can't stand any frost. Marriage Cherokee Carbon tomatoes are recommended for planting directly into the garden outside in full sun as opposed to starting indoors and transplanting.