The Basics: Cherokee Purple Tomatoes


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Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Cherokee Purple tomatoes are an heirloom variety that may be identified by their meaty taste & bold, deep pink coloration although they are technically considered a black tomato – those that are rich in anthocyanins. The flavor of this slicing tomato is best when the fruit is given an opportunity to ripen directly on the vine. Cherokee purple tomatoes originated in Tennessee & are ideal for use in salads & on sandwiches. These medium-sized tomatoes weigh approximately 12-ounces & are considered to fall in the intermediate level if growing your own plants. They require full sun producing fruit in approximately 80 days. Expect plants to reach between 4 & 6 feet high with a width of approximately 3 feet. They pair well with a variety of cheeses, nuts & lettuces but also make for an exceptional BLT sandwich, particularly when herb mayonnaise or homemade aioli is slathered over handcrafted bread slices. Learn how to grow & harvest your very own heirloom tomatoes.

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How To Plant & Harvest Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Cherokee purple tomatoes will thrive in gardens when the proper attention & care is given. Plan to space plants approximately 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart so ample growth may take place. Consistent & even moisture will also aide in producing good sized fruits & prevent cracking however good drainage is also necessary. Since these heirloom plants are considered an intermediate undertaking, it’s a smart idea to test the soil before sowing seeds in order to ensure the proper pH level between 6.2 & 6.8 has been achieved. Plan to amend as necessary with rich organic materials to ensure the best possible crop. Cherokee purples are wonderful when paired with rattlesnake beans, toasted pecans & other tomato varieties


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Cherokee purple tomatoes are ready to harvest when the flesh is firm but may be removed from the stem when gently twisted. Keep the stem cap intact if you plan to hold the fruit a few days on the countertop before use. It should be noted that tomatoes should never be refrigerated as the cooler temperature compromises the flavor & texture drastically. Rinse the tomatoes under cool running water & use a serrated knife to make clean, pretty slices when preparing them for a variety of recipe applications. 

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.


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