Acidic Content of Tomatoes


“Which of the tomatoes in your selection has the highest acid content? I love a tangy tomato and I understand they preserve well too.  ~L.”

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Thank you for your question regarding tomato acidity.  The most acidic tomatoes I know of are Druzba, Silvery Fir Tree, and Purple Calabash.

Druzba is a Bulgarian heirloom tomato with fruits that range from about 9-12 ounces.  The plants are stocking and not as prone to flopping over/requiring staking as other varieties (if I ever have to stake them, it is late in summer).  They are indeterminate and are available from Totally Tomatoes.

Silvery Fir Tree (heirloom) would be a great choice if you are going to be growing your tomatoes in a pot or smaller space.  While it does produce earlier, the fruits are only about 6-8 ounces each.  This is a variety that I grow in my kitchen garden off the back screen porch — the foliage is very different from the regular tomato foliage and I’ve even had friends that have mixed it into their floral landscapes around their homes.  You will need to stake this one.  It is available from Totally Tomatoes.

Although it is not a red tomato, the most acidic tomato out there is the Purple Calabash.  It is a purplish-black, extremely old heirloom variety that back to pre-Columbian Mexico. The Aztecs people combined this tomato, hot peppers and ground squash seeds to make a fresh salsa to serve with fish and meat.    The distinctive shape resembles a flattened pumpkin. It has a neat shape with a ruffled appearance.  It is an indeterminate variety and the plant grows quite large. The plant is filled with lots of delicious tomatoes that can be both small and large. Since it takes 90 days to mature it is best planted early after all danger of frost has passed.  This one is rather hard to find because most people do not like very acidic tomatoes.  It can be purchased from Territorial Seeds.

Another that others have told me is rather acidic is the Jolly Hybrid red cherry tomato.  I have never grown these, so I cannot speak from personal experience.  I have found though that most cherry hybrids lack the acidity because most tomato breeders are going for sweetness rather than acidity.

Acidic tomatoes do can well because they can be easily preserved.  With foods of questionable or perhaps not-quite-low-enough pH, it is recommended to had a bit of lemon juice or citric acid to completely lower the pH to a safe level.  With acidic tomatoes, this addition is not required.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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