In an effort to be more faithful about sharing variety-specific growing information on my garden selections, I will occasionally feature these varieties in their own posts. Look for these posts to be compiled on a new page soon!
Anna Russian was a late addition to my garden plans this year, but I'm so glad it made its way in. I'm not sure this is a tomato that would have caught my eye in a catalog (I tend to gravitate towards paste tomatoes and more black-purple varieties), but my awesome aunt sent me some of her seeds in March, and I'm grateful that she did; this is definitely a tomato worth growing!
It is an oxheart-shaped tomato, which I have to say, has quickly become a favorite of mine. There's just something about these heart-shaped tomatoes with long sepals that is easy to become enamored with. They quickly bulk up and develop beautiful dark green shoulders before giving way to a vibrant pinkish red.
Even though Anna Russian is described as an early variety, it was the last of my tomato plants to blossom, set fruit, and ripen, but that could also be due to the strange growing season, which was especially tough on the tomatoes. Despite the slow start, they produced a healthy yield, right on track with the other tomatoes. The largest of the tomatoes got close, but didn't quite break the one pound mark.
If there is one downfall to this great variety, it is that they seem particularly prone to splitting, but it was never detrimental to the entire fruit, even if undiscovered for a day or two when things got busy. Eventually I learned to be more proactive and harvest as soon as they turned half pink, half green, and let them finish off on the counter top.
Anna Russian is a really great all-purpose tomato. It is a really meaty tomato, with a nice solid core, so it works well for salsas and sauce. The flavor is smooth, and the acidity is nicely balanced, so it makes a great tomato for fresh eating as well. It would be an excellent choice if you have limited garden space and are having a hard time deciding between a paste tomato and a slicer.
Needless to say, I am very glad my Aunt Betty introduced me to this great tomato, and I will definitely be growing it again!
Labels: Anna Russian Tomatoes, tomatoes, varieties