I no longer have to be concerned that I have the sole responsibility for maintaining the Barlow Jap variety. It has hit the mainstream tomato scene to a rave review. Last year someone from the IDigMyGarden forum asked me for some of PaPaw's seeds. He, in turn shared them with a couple of friends, one of whom collects specifically Kentucky Heirlooms. The other person he shared them with is my friend the tomato fanatic known as "camochef". Camo grows nearly 200 plants of more than 70 different varieties. This year the Jap was the last variety on his list, being a new gift and something interesting to try. It is variety #72 for 2009. Camo lives for tomato season. He has more varieties of sea salt and dressing for tasting tomatoes than I knew existed. Then, he taste tests and reviews each variety and rates them in order of preference for the year. Here is what Camo has to say about the Japs...
Ok, here we go again with another great tomato that few are going to know. It's the first of three new to me varieties that I tasted today. Its a pink Oblate. I picked two. One was 13 5/8 oz. or 386 grams, the second was 9 5/8 oz. 0r 274 grams. As you can see from the pictures this was a very meaty tomato. Really solid with a great taste, initially tart but adding a touch of Pink sea salt, brought out the sweet overtone which it's full flavor contained. A little zatarain's creole seasoning takes it to a whole 'nother world! It had a very thin skin, Which is something I look for, and almost no core at all! Another quality I favor! It was a very tasty tomato! Right now I'm thinking it falls next to the Cowlick Brandywine with taste, but I'm gonna hold off until I taste a second one before deciding if it goes before or after the Cowlick! Either way 4th or 6th... its a really good tasting tomato.
Thanks for the seeds for this one. It's a keeper! Really great tomato with the weather we've been having, its kept its tomato taste, not the least bit watery, not sure how it will do under drier conditions. I wanted to tell the story of its history, but was afraid I'd mess it up. Perhaps you or TooManyTomatoes could share it with us. As far as seeds go, I'll have enough to send some back if yours fail. I only have the one plant, but its got a few more ripening! Thanks again for a great tomato, and for sharing it with me!
So now the Japs are out there and will be traded and grown by tomato fanciers and I'm sure their popularity will grow over time. Now that I have encouragement and a good review, I plant to send some seeds to Gary at Tomatofest.