Purple Cherokee are my favorite tomatoes

This year's tomato garden leans heavily on the packed with umami Purple Cherokee.

I grew five or six heirloom varieties last year in my sunny Southern California garden. While the tomatoes all tasted great, the Purple Cherokee was remarkably more popular than any other. The plant did very well and was one of my tallest vines, topping out over seven feet high. The harvest on that one plant was excellent, but due to the incredible flavor of the tomato, it was not nearly enough. The tomatoes were larger, beautifully slicing dark tomatoes with crazy internal structures and some of the most robust natural umami flavors I've experienced.

Unlike the other varieties, there were no Purple Cherokee to give away. They were all eaten here simply sliced with sea salt, olive oil, and mozzarella. I have two vines going this year in a prime spot where they should grow strong and tall. The Purple Cherokee was the most plagued by aphid plant I had last year, but Neem oil handled it well. The pests may have been dye to that specific vine's proximity to some green onions that also attract the critters.

Previously: There are more tomatoes in planter boxes and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy