Saturday Spotlight – Yugoslav Tomatoes

Welcome to my second Saturday spotlight which highlights specific varieties of kitchen garden crops.  We are at the height of the Victorian tomato season at the moment and as such it seems only appropriate to look at a tomato variety.  I thought I would start with one of the less commonly grown ones – Yugoslav.  This is my first year growing the variety although my parents have grown it for a number of years.  I have to say I’ve been very pleased with it.

Yugoslav tomatoes are a pinky red – the sort of colour that when it comes to tomatoes is often called purple, while purple is often called black.  I have always found this weird definition of red spectrum colours rather odd, but entertaining nonetheless.  In the photo below they look a little redder than they do ‘in real life’.

Yugoslav tomato

Yugoslav are a large squat sweet flavoured tomato.  Individual fruits weigh about 200-300g  some even larger.  They are fleshy with some, but not too many, seeds and are well suited to both slicing for sandwiches and salads as well as cooking.   They make good sauce.

Yugosalv tomatoes

The plants are indeterminate, growing to the top of my 2 metre stakes with no sign of stopping.  Whilst it is hard to measure productivity in my garden this year as I have no idea how many fruits were taken by the rodents, my dad’s plants are loaded with fruits.

Yugoslav Tomatoes

So far neither my parents nor I have had any real issues with disease so its difficult to say whether or not its likely to resist wilt and other common problems.  One issue that does effect it quite frequently though is split fruit – mine split after a downpour and occasionally they split if left on the vine until fully ripe.  Picking them while coloured but not quite fully ripe seems to resolve the issue with little loss in flavour.

I like this tomato variety very much, it combines good flavour with versatility and good yields.  The only negative is that they are slightly later than some of the other varieties.  I picked my first Yugoslav 3 weeks later than the first Rouge de Marmande and a fortnight after Black Krim, but I do think its worth the wait.

If you have written a Saturday Spotlight I will happily link to it – just leave me a comment and I’ll add the link to both this and next weeks post.

Dave at Our Happy Acres has a great post on Oakleaf lettuce – a variety I have had a lot of success with – check out his post here.

Michelle from Seed to Table has a great post on Golden Corn Salad which isn’t something I’ve grown before but sounds fab.  – check it out here.

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35 Responses to Saturday Spotlight – Yugoslav Tomatoes

  1. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight: Oakleaf Lettuce | Our Happy Acres

  2. Dave says:

    That’s a tomato I’ve never heard of. Of course there are thousands of tomato varieties out there. The Yugoslav has a very distinctive shape, and it sure looks red in the photos! All our tomatoes here are frozen or dried, so it is nice to see some fresh ones.

    I spotlighted a lettuce today. And I’ve got some others in mind for the future. I do enjoy reading about what other gardeners are growing, and I get some good ideas and information that way.

    • Liz says:

      Loved your post and I’ve put in a link to it – I will link to it again next week to include anyone who read my post first so may have missed it. I find tomatoes interesting how some varieties are known pretty internationally (eg Black Cherry, Amish Paste, Roma etc) and others seem to be only available in certain areas.

      • Dave says:

        FWIW the InLinkz Linkup plugin is supposed to work much like Mr Linky does, but it isn’t working at all in my level of WordPress (3.5.1). So far that is the only plugin I found that sounded like a match.

  3. foodnstuff says:

    That’s interesting! I bought a punnet of tomatoes at a Sunday market that were supposed to be Roma, and put them in a wicking box. They grew hugely tall, totally unlike Roma and produced equally huge pinkish fruits just like the ones in your photo. They were some of the biggest tomatoes I’ve ever seen, some over 400 gm. They were as you described them, even down to the splitting. I put a photo on the Ozgrow garden forum, but no-one could come up with a name. Looks like I have it now. Thanks.

    • Liz says:

      Oh yay – glad I posted on them now. Did you enjoy them? Personally I prefer them to Romas – I like the size.

  4. Louise says:

    Nice looking tomato – like its density very much and looks like a strong grower seeing as we have had such hot weather. I’d contribute but I have nothing to show for myself at present. Might have top wait until some of my winter brassicas are ripping along.

    • Liz says:

      Thats ok. The brassicas should be rocking along soon. That photo is sneakily taken at mum and dads which is cooler than here (particularly at night) but yeah it has done really well in the heat.

  5. Bek says:

    Those tomatoes look delicious! I might have to look into those as a sauce tomato for next year as San Marzano hasn’t gone very well this year and I’m thinking I’ll need to test out some other options.

    • Liz says:

      I think they’re good – I haven’t made a sauce entirely out of Yugoslav – I tend to bung in a mixture but the texture is ideal. They would make a slightly sweeter sauce than San marzano but I think it would still be pretty tasty.

  6. Not one I’ve heard of either. I’d say it was a good thing to have different varieties cropping at different times to extend the picking season

    • Liz says:

      I agree about the succession cropping. one day I will be organised enough to factor that into my varietal selection…one day…..

  7. Mark Willis says:

    If only I had space and time to grow all the lovely tomato varieties that I read about! It’s hard to be realistic about such things, isn’t it? I try to grow only half a dozen types, but every year I fail to stick to this. I have a pack of seeds for “Red Pear” from Franchi seeds, which look quite similar in shape and style to your Yugoslav, though they are definitely red, not “purple”. I also have “Cherokee Purple”, which will no doubt turn out to be black!

    • Liz says:

      Or pink, or if you bought it from Diggers it would probably end up being a capsicum. Sorry that was a bit of an Australian specific dig at one of our seed companies who has a tendency to mislabel…

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m late late late, but I just wrote a Saturday spotlight post about the corn salad that is so abundant in my garden right now. You can include it next week if you prefer. I’ll have to get more on the ball for my next spotlight post.

    That is a great looking tomato! There are so many good tomatoes around, I wish I could try them all. That one looks worthy, but a quick search leads me to believe that it isn’t available here in the states – the only Yugoslav tomato I saw looked different. Just as well, I’ve decided on my line-up this year and there’s no more room!

    • Liz says:

      I will include it both this and next week to capture everyone. I know I too would love to try them all – particularly the ones with odd shapes and colours.

  9. Sarah says:

    Your Yugoslav tomatoes look like they should be full of flavour, not sure if we have a similar variety here. Can I ask for some advice on another tomato variety? I’m growing ‘Tiny Tim’ for the first time this year, but they are taking an age to germinate – did you find the same?

    • Liz says:

      In all honesty I’m struggling to remember – I usually sow my seed at my parents (who have a very nice potting shed) and leave it there until after it has germinated. As a result I don’t always notice how long things are taking. I think most of my tomato varieties germinate within 3-4 weeks – is it longer than that?

  10. Aaah too many tomatoes, too little room. I’ll put them on my list.
    Sarah I tried to grow tiny tim last year and they were very disappointing. They did germinate but I hardly got any fruit before they withered. I won’t be trying them again.

    • Liz says:

      Mine did well for me but I sowed them very early – perhaps they enjoyed doing their main growing in the cool of early Spring rather than the warm of summer?

  11. JohnMich says:

    Wow! What rippers, never even heard of toms this size! I can’t find an OZ seller but there are many in North America where they are well know.
    I found this site >
    A Dr Crnkovic apparently introuced them to the US from Yugoslavia and that’s why they are so popular there.
    You guessed it a packet is on its way as I speak. They are a tad expensive because of postage but if they perform as yours have they would end up cheap, and Eden Seeds would have a small supply.
    Thanks so much for posting, John

    • Bek says:

      Hi John. If you’re in Aus and those seeds are from the US I have some bad news for you, as (assuming Australian Quarantine does its job) technically tomato seeds aren’t allowed to be imported as they may carry diseases. I inquired about 12 months ago and it costs around $120 for them to grow your seeds, test them for diseases and if they pass they will release them to you. You can search for import conditions for various seeds here

      • JohnMich says:

        Oops! Looks as if I have done my $10! But thanks Bek for your advice. That is one of the great advantages of sites like this where readers can communicate between themselves. There are hundreds maybe thousands of people with great knowledge who can pass it on to the not so knowledgable like me in this case. Thanks for taking the trouble of letting me know how and why I had boobooed. I never thought of quarantine – just too excited to have found a seller.
        Many regards, John

        • JohnMich says:

          Well what do you know? Having learnt that I may have done in $10 (with second name Angus) moving at lighning speed I contacted the US seller, and they moving nearly as fast, cancelled the order and have already refunded the $10! What great people.

          Now as an aside they say they ship to Australia regularly and have never had a problem. I don’t doubt that because funding of services like this has been cut
          back so that the money can be spent in more politically attractive areas. Same with police forces. Anyway (sigh!)

          Thanks for your warning, Regards, John

          • JohnMich says:

            Sorry about clogging up the airways with the saga of the Yugoslav tomato seeds from the US. I have just got a message from a more knowledegable peron at Pase Seeds (Barry M Pase) that it is ONLY tomato seeds that are a problem – and that has been sort out with OZ quarantine. Any other seeds can be imported no problem. So there you go, trust me to dived into the only murky spot!.

          • Liz says:

            Ahhh on the contrary John thankyou for enlightening me. Now I can scour the US seed providers for interesting chilli varieties.

          • Bek says:

            Good to hear you were able to get your $ back. Maybe they have sent seeds but never heard from clients who had them seized by quarantine. I would always double check as I’ve found out the hard way and had both tomatoes, corn and pumpkins seized – the pumpkins only because they didn’t have the full species and genus name on the seed package. But AQIS have also seized seeds that are ok to import (I had to call them and very politely tell them their own website said it was ok, and they released them) so I just go straight to the website now to be sure. That said I’ve been ok with importing eggplant, carrot, capsicums (so your peppers should be ok Liz), cucumbers and alpine strawberries and black raspberry seeds. Yes, my name is Bek and I am a seed-olholic.

    • Liz says:

      I’m fairly sure I saw them available through Eden seeds. Might be worth a look. I’ll also check where my father got this seeds from as that’s what I used. It will be interesting to see how they do in your climate.

      • JohnMich says:

        Hi Liz
        As I said in my post I checked Eden Seeds and got a message that they were looking for seed savers but no indication that they had any to sell. After I read you reply I rang them, they are just up the road, and they tell me I must have fallen into a seed savers area because they in fact have had a contiuos supply of the Yugoslav toms seeds for a long time. Yes a packet is on its way. Of course!
        The beauty of this Spotlight area to me is that you who have checked out a very big range of diverse varieties in many species are nominating what are your best performers and that is extremely useful for relative babes-in-the woods like me

        Again, thanks for posting and many regards, John

        • Liz says:

          No worries at all John, I hope they do well for you. Personally I like to grow a couple of varieties because some varieties do better in some years than others. Black Krim did well for me this year and Rouge de Marmande and Grosse Lisse have all done well for me in the past. If you are looking for a cherry type then I like black Cherry best.

  12. Miss Piggy says:

    This was my first year growing tomatoes and it was A LOT harder than I thought it was going to be. I’m already looking forward to next year and getting some more planted…I’d like to try some different varieties as well (that don’t come from Bunnings would be a good start).

    • Liz says:

      Tomatoes are almost as temperamental as your pseudonym in my experience (my experience with tomatoes not the Muppets that is….) I do think they do best when started from seed rather than bought as seedlings although I think this has more to do with the neglect they often receive at a lot of the seedlings retailers than anything else. I also like to grow a wide range of types as that way its easier to find one or two that do well for you. Every year I find new things to learn about tomato growing. The lesson this year was the value of mulch. Work out how much you think you need and then at least double it seems to be about right.

  13. Tricia says:

    They are beautiful! I would love to try them. Where did you purchase the seeds?

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