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Best tasting tomatoes

Tomato seeds ‘F1 Sweet Million’ from Suttons

Tomatoes are one of the homegrown crops that deliver a flavour far superior to anything shop-bought. Whether you choose to sow tomato seeds or buy a selection of tomato plants to speed things along, is up to you. The hardest part is deciding which of the many delicious varieties to grow. 

Growing your own is more than just being self-sufficient. It’s about growing special varieties of fruit and veg that aren’t readily available in shops. Especially those that don’t lend themselves to mass commercial production, but have an amazing flavour. Here are the top three tomatoes from our recent taste test…

What makes a tomato taste great?

When we set out to find the best tasting tomato, we thought it was all about sweetness. But it quickly became clear that it’s far more than just that. It actually depends on the balance of sweetness and acidity, along with a complex cocktail of volatile aromas, that when combined, create something really special!

Back in 2016 Suttons started working with Exeter University to identify tomato varieties with the highest nutrient levels. We’ve now extended our research into finding the most flavoursome varieties and understanding what takes a tomato from good to great.

The tomato taste test

Taste testing tomatoes experiment from Exeter University
Taste testing tomatoes – Exeter University

We asked breeders to recommend varieties that they believe to have the very best flavour. After excluding those that didn’t grow well at our trial grounds, a range of different tomatoes (including some supermarket premium varieties) were included in a blind taste trial at Exeter University.

The tomato taste trial results

Tomato Tutti-Frutti F1 Cherry from Suttons
Tutti-Frutti F1 Cherry – bursting with sweetness before developing a rich, cherry-flavoured after-taste

While there’s no doubt that supermarket tomatoes have vastly improved, the premium variety tested by Exeter University only managed 34th place in this blind taste trial. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are the top three, most tasty and flavoursome tomatoes to grow at home next season… 

3rd place: Gardener’s Delight

No surprises that this traditional, top-selling, customer favourite made the shortlist. These bite-sized fruits are packed with a rich, sweet flavour that easily won over our taste testers.

2nd Place: F1 Sweet Petit

Just missing out on the coveted top spot is the cherry-sized Sweet Petit. These deliciously sweet, shiny, red fruits had our testers’ taste buds jumping for joy.

1st Place: Tutti-Frutti F1 Cherry

Since it was introduced back in 2018, the Tutti-Frutti range has been quietly collecting a dedicated following of tomato growers. With its delicate hint of cherry, it was the F1 Cherry variety that claimed the top spot in our blind taste test.

If you’re looking for growing tips, read our article on how to grow tomatoes from seed before browsing our full selection of tomato seeds to see which varieties take your fancy. And if you try one of our top three, drop us a social media message to let us know if you agree with the results of this trial!

Lead image: Tomato seeds ‘F1 Sweet Million’ from Suttons

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2 thoughts on “Best tasting tomatoes”

  1. Peter McCrann Campbell says:

    I started growing tomatoes years ago, my first efforts were with Moneymaker, Shirley and Brandywine, the latter being the best tasting tomato I’d had, not a heavy cropper and took a bit of looking after.
    Over the years I’ve tried various varieties with and without good results. For the last four years I’ve had grown “Beefmaster”, a big beast that has a taste that is unmatched; “Country Taste” a good cropper not as large as Beefmaster but has an excellent sweet taste with a slight tang and looks good.
    This year I also had Ferline, Sparta, Moneymaker, Shirley, Tumbling Tom, Tumbler, Bitesize, Flamingo and Tigrella.
    Next year I will only grow Beefmaster and Country Taste, they’re our favourites. Everyone’s tastes differ so preferences will differ too. Growing tomatoes is very rewarding.

  2. I love to eat tomatoes and enjoy to grow tomatoes in my garden. The information given here is really good.

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