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Cuor di bue, the original beefsteak tomato

Cuor di bue tomato, here a small one

The Cuor di Bue tomato is an heirloom tomato variety that grows true to seed every year.

Cuor di Bue tomato key facts:

Species: Solanum lycopersicum
Commonly: Beefsteak, Cuor di Bue
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade)
Type: fruit vegetable

Height: 6 feet (1.50 m)
Planting distance: 32 inches (80 cm)
Exposure: full sun

Soil: rich, light, cool – Planting: spring (after last frost) – Harvest: summer, fall

This variety recently made a comeback on our market stalls. Producing smooth-skinned, giant fruits (up to 25 ounces or 700 g), this tomato has a true heart-like shape. It has a very dense flesh speaking for it, with very few seeds. Supremely flavorful, soft and sweet, the Cuor di Bue tomato also has lots of vitamin C, trace elements and minerals.

Sowing Cuor di Bue tomato

Sowing the cuor di bue tomatoThe original beefsteak tomato is sown in nursery pots between February and March.

Use a substrate prepared with sieved seedling soil mix, and settle your seedlings down in a luminous spot (near a window) that’s warm (between 68 and 77°F or 20-25°C).

Bury the tomato seeds about half an inch deep (1 cm) and cover with soil mix. Water everything with a hand sprayer so that you don’t get the substrate all soggy.

 → Dig deeper: Sowing tomato, get it done right

Planting Cuor di Bue

Proper planting with stakesCuor di Bue seedlings are transplanted to a cold frame when they get 5 leaves. The young seedlings are then transferred to the garden around mid-May, when any risk of freezing has passed.

Stake it before you plant it.. Settle your plants in deep, humus-rich soil that’s loose and healthy, with a spacing of Space plants 32 inches (80 cm) apart, on all sides..

Once a week, water the base of your Beefsteak tomatoes abundantly.

Growing and care for Cuor di Bue tomato

The Cuor di Bue reaches to around 5 feet tall when mature, and about 20 inches across. To keep them in place, it’s best to stake or train them.

Caring for cuor di bue helps get great fruitNot a hardy variety, this true beefsteak tomato grows as an annual in most western countries, in full sun and in soil that’s moist, light, and contains a lot of organic matter.

Spread mulch around the base of your Cuor di bue plants to keep the soil cool and avoid that dreaded weeding chore.

This tomato doesn’t require much watering, only perhaps during extended droughts. To reduce the risk of diseases, do everything you can to avoid wetting the leafage when watering your tomato plants.

Diseases and pests

The Cuor di Bue tomato is vulnerable to fungal diseases (mildew, blight…).

Harvesting and keeping Cuor di Bue tomato

Harvest cuor di bue when it's already very ripeCuor di Bue tomato harvest is in the best case directly when you need to eat them, during the entire warm season from July to October.

  • Harvest only fruits that are truly ripe.

Keeping Cuor di Bue tomato:

It’s best kept for a few days in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, or spread out on a kitchen counter, but best is really to eat it right after the harvest. It’s also possible to cook it and prepare canned preserves with it in jars for longer keeping.

Cooking with Cuor di Bue tomato

Cuor di bue in saladsWith its soft and sweet flesh, the Cuor di Bue tomato is clearly one of the best table varieties. Raw in delicious tossed summer salads. Also, try it out in a tomato carpaccio.

This original beefsteak tomato is also well suited to cooking.

Images: Pixabay: Antonio José Céspedes López, Ennelise Napoleoni-Bianco, ivabalk, Kerstin Riemer, Viviane Monconduit, Viviane Monconduit
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