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The beefsteak tomato, a massive tomato ideal for baking

Beefsteak tomato

Let’s play a little guessing game: which vegetable patch fruit is shaped like a heart, has a strong taste and firm flesh?

If ever you’ve savored one before, you’ll immediately have the ‘Beefsteak’ tomato in mind: its striking features make it a memorable experience!

Origin and peculiarities

Though the original tomato comes from South America, the Beefsteak tomato hails to us from Italy. It has different names that are often confused: ‘Coeur de boeuf’ for the French, ‘Cuor di bue’ for the Italians; but these all have the same characteristics, the hallmarks of a very special tomato:

  • a unique heart-like shape;
  • juicy fruits with smooth skin and clearly XXL size;
  • soft, melty flesh with very few seeds and a light, sweet taste.

Planting ‘Beefsteak’ tomato

Sowing should be done in April, whereas the planting itself takes place at the beginning of May.

Sowing :

You’ll have to prepare for sowing a day ahead for Beefsteak tomatoes. Indeed, seeds need soaking for 24 hours to trigger germination. Once they’ve been thoroughly soaked, though, all you need to do is spread the seeds out on a blend of soil mix and sand.

Seedling from a beefsteak tomato heirloom varietyWhen the sprouts have unfurled their two cotyledons (leaves), transplant them in individual nursery pots. For each planting step, you must make sure your crop is protected from late frosts. Once they’ve matured, you can transfer your plants to the growing bed.

Planting ‘beefsteak’ tomato:

The planting of a tomato plant is easy:

  • Beefsteak tomato flowerdig a hole that’s deep enough (8 inches or 20 cm);
  • slip the seedling inside, slanting it slightly;
  • backfill to the point of burying the base of the stem up to the first few leaves;
  • water abundantly without touching the foliage.

Care and growing

Here are the maintenance steps to get nice ‘Beefsteak’ tomatoes:

  • Caring for beefsteak tomato implies staking, among othersregular watering directly at the base of the plant (take care not to get the leaves wet);
  • mulch all around the plant to lock moisture underground;
  • remove leaves (but not all of them) from your plants from the month of August onwards, to spur ripening of fruits.
  • The ‘Beefsteak’ tomato is a variety that requires staking.

More to learn about growing tomato

Diseases and pests

The ‘Beefsteak’ tomato may attract bollworm moth caterpillars and whitefly. As regards diseases, ‘Beefsteak’ tomato doesn’t fare any better than other tomato varieties: it’s vulnerable to downy mildew.

Harvest and keeping

Single beefsteak tomato weighing 784 grams, nearly 2 poundsYou can expect to pick your first ‘Beefsteak’ tomatoes sometime mid-July, and the last ones hopefully up to mid-October. After picking, they will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. However, if you really want to make the most of their vitamins and minerals, our recommendation is to eat them right after having picked them.

Cooking with ‘beefsteak’ tomato

Beefsteak with beefsteak tomato side‘Beefsteak’ can be cooked in several different manners. This is because its firm, rich-tasting flesh is perfect for tossed salads, gazpacho, soup, and even stuffing and baking.

To learn more, read:

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Pixabay: HBH-MEDIA, Simon G.
Public Domain: U.S. Department of Agriculture
CC BY 2.0: A. Yee, Robert Couse-Baker, Kurman Communications, Inc.
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