Well, after much nervousness here, and eager beaver first sightings of ripening colour here, the salad days have finally arrived. My tomatoes have ripened, they're yummy and they've come through the taste test with flying colours! Who would have thunk such things possible?
Blognoscenti, I give you a small but perfectly formed Alaska tomato on the left, and a normal sized and thoroughly handsome Beaver Lodge Slicer on the right. On average, the Alaskas measure 44mm (1.7 inches) in diameter and the Beaver Lodges 68mm (2.7 inches).
On a subjective 10 point scale, with 10 being the best, the Alaska rates a totally delicious 8, which is very tomatoey and will star in many salads in coming weeks. The Beaver Lodge Slicer gets a very good 7 out of 10, which is still very tomatoey and much, much better than anything I can buy in the shops, but not quite as tomato-tangy as the nice little Alaskas.
The texture on both is fine, but again I like the Alaska just that little bit more, 8 for texture. The Beaver Lodge gets 7 for texture, too. It's a tiny bit squishy but not too bad that way, while the Alaska holds itself together nicely for tossing in salads. I sliced up a Beaver Lodge in a lunchtime salad sandwich today and it really made that sanger something special. Maybe I should give it 8 for flavour, too? It was really nice.
So, why not 10 for taste? Well, I like to be a hard marker on tomatoes, just in case I come across something truly awesome one of these days. I have tasted some 9s in my time, but I'm saving up 10 for heaven. If I spent my '10' too soon then I'd have to do a Spinal Tap trick (if you've seen the movie you'll know what I mean) and give my best-ever tomato 11 out of 10.