Cherokee Purple tomatoes are beefsteak in style. They are also notable for having a dense, juicy texture, with small seed locules irregularly scattered throughout the flesh. The comparatively dark interior color is enhanced by the tendency of the seeds to be surrounded by green gel. In 1995, a skin color mutation of Cherokee Purple arose in Craig LeHoullier's North Carolina garden. It was named Cherokee Chocolate, and the yellow skin gives the variety a brownish mahogany hue. Cherokee Green arose in Craig's garden in 1997 from a planting of Cherokee Chocolate. It is one of several tomatoes whose flesh stays green when it ripens; the skin color is yellow, which provides a guide to indicate when the tomato is ripe and ready for harvest.
The Cherokee purple tomato is most commonly available in the summer and fall. This tomato is best enjoyed fresh and is often used in BLT sandwiches and salads. It can also be used when making pizza and pasta.
Craig LeHoullier received seeds of an unnamed purple tomato from John D. Green of Sevierville, Tennessee in 1990. The accompanying letter indicated the Cherokee Indian origin of the tomato in the late 1800s. After growing the tomato in his 1991 garden, confirming the unique purplish coloration and considering the history shared by Mr Green, Craig named the variety Cherokee Purple.
Mar 8, 2021