One of my favorite tomatoes last season was the Japanese Trifele Black. After growing my first Cherokee Purple a few seasons ago, a lucky find from home depot, I was amazed by the depth of flavor, it was the tomato flavor I’ve been searching years for. I immediately began searching for other black and purple varieties, cross-referencing tomato blogs and seed sources, I felt I’d finally found the holy grail of tomato taste. Seed Savers Exchange had a nice offering of the list I had compiled so I ordered:
Black from Tula
Sudduth’s Brandy wine
Japanese Trifele Black
From my seed stash, I grew out:
Trifele has made it through a scorching summer, hurricane winds, a cold winter and is still producing tomatoes. Most of the other plants are gone or on their last leg, but this one is the best survivor. Last week I repotted the new starts for this season and already Trifele has fruited. I love this variety.
Most of the dark and black fruits originated in Russia in Ukraine. Black tomatoes are native to the Southern Ukraine along the Crimean Peninsula. There were only a few varieties known of until returning soldiers of the Crimean war distributed seeds throughout western Russia. There are over fifty varieties of black tomatoes found in the area historically known as Russia. Other varieties are found elsewhere such as the USA and Germany and now are spread worldwide.
This darling variety was lost in the translation and marketed under an assumed name. It was first offered in the Seed Savers Exchange by Åke Truedsson of Klagshamn, Sweden. Trifele’s true original name is Yaponskiy Trufel Chernyi Японский трюфель It was a Russian commercial variety which is not surprising as it holds up beautifully, resists cracking and has a rich meaty flesh. The unusual pear shape stands out among all the other tomatoes.
Finally ripened in the last two days, a little cracking from the deluge of rain. They are as delicious as I remembered.
Add the salt