Among the favorite heirloom tomatoes at Mother Earth News and TomatoFest.com are Black Krim, Pink Brandywine, Blondkopfchen and Super Italian Paste. Heirloom plant varieties are generally over 50 years old and maintain their distinctive qualities through open pollination.
Black Krim and Pink Brandywine are indeterminate beefsteak-type heirloom tomatoes. A favorite for flavor, Black Krim tomatoes are 3 to 4 inches in diameter and dark purple with green striped shoulders. They are prone to cracking in drought conditions, but regular watering prevents fruit split. Pink Brandywines are a rose pink, Amish heirloom cultivar, which Bonnie Plants regards as a benchmark for tomato flavor. The potato-leafed plants grow up to 9-feet tall with fruits weighing over 1 pound.
Blondkopfchen are sweet-tasting, yellow, grape-shaped cherry tomatoes. TomatoFest reports that they are resistant to disease and cracking. The 1/2- to 1-inch fruits grow in clusters of 20 to 30 tomatoes on vigorous vines. Blondkopfchen have a long growing season, producing fruit in temperatures from 50 F to 95 F. The plants need plenty of room to grow because they can reach 7 feet high and 3 feet wide.
Low-acid plum tomatoes, such as the Super Italian Paste, are favorites for sauces and paste. Super Italian Paste plants grow indeterminately on large vines bearing late in the season. The fruits are deep red to reddish-orange, banana pepper-shaped and 4 to 6 inches long.
Green Zebra tomatoes have green and yellow stripes and taste slightly tarter than common tomatoes. When they are ripe, they have a dark green skin.
The Oxacan Jewel tomato is golden with slight red stripes. It has a rich and fruity taste that is similar to melon.