In the early days of tomato cultivation, tomatoes were yellow and orange. Breeding bought home gardeners and commercial growers today’s familiar red tomato and eventually pink, bicolor or striped, black and white fruits. Some tomatoes are green when fully ripe, featuring a strong flavor, often spicy but tangy, and lower acidity. The interiors tend to be an almost neon green, or sometimes green and red, as with Ananas Noire. Green tomato varieties can be used as slicing or salad tomatoes to add contrasting colors or to make salsa verde.
Aunt Ruby's German Green
This large beefsteak can grow to over 1 lb. and traces its name to Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee, according to Gary Ibsen's TomatoFest website. Fruits have neon-green flesh with a strong, sweet flavor and mature 85 days after transplanting.
This tomato was bred by the Tater Mater Seed Co. by crossing Yellow Pear with Evergreen and has become popular with West Coast chefs for its looks and flavor. The 1-inch fruits mature in 70 to 80 days.
Another chef’s favorite, Green Zebra matures in 75 days, producing a chartreuse fruit with attractive deep lime-green stripes. The bright green flesh is described as sweet with a sharp bite. Green Zebra produces a good yield of 3 oz. fruits.
Aunt Ruby's German Cherry
This green cherry tomato, bred down from Aunt Ruby's German Green, produces 1 to 2 oz. fruit shaped like little beefsteak tomatoes in 78 days. The productive plants may produce some red as well as green tomatoes, as this cultivar has not yet stabilized.
Ananas Noire or Black Pineapple
Pascal Moreau, a horticulturist from Belgium, developed this large green fruit, with yellow and purple accents. The flesh of the 1 ½ lb. fruits is bright green with deep red streaks. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds describes the flavor as sweet and smoky with a hint of citrus.
Heirloom tomato collector Craig LeHoullier developed Cherokee Green out of a lot of Cherokee Chocolate seeds. One plant gave him a cross that stayed green when ripe. This cousin of Cherokee Purple yields 12 to 16 oz. beefsteak tomatoes, described by Gary Ibsen’s TomatoFest website as amber green with a yellowish hue when ripe. Fruits mature in 85 days and can be used in salads and on sandwiches as well as for pasta sauces.
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