In the world of heirloom tomatoes, Black Krim emerges as a standout favorite.
Grown for its superior flavor and color, this indeterminate tomato with medium-sized fruits is ideal for beginners to tomato growing and those with an established tomato patch.
- Origin: Crimea
- Type: Indeterminate
- Size: 5+ feet
- Days To Harvest: 70-90
- Other Names: Black Crimea
Black Krim Origins & History
Black Krim tomatoes originate a long way from US gardens, along the Black Sea in Crimea. Their name refers to the color of the fruits, along with the region of origin (‘Krym’ means Crimea in Slavic languages). This also explains their other common name, Black Crimea.
According to the story of their suspected origins, the seeds of these tomatoes were allegedly spread by soldiers after the Crimean war. Collecting the seeds from plants in the region, they brought them home for growing, increasing their range. The spread of these popular seeds continued through generations until they reached the US in 1990.
Lars Olov Rosenstrom is credited with introducing the seeds to the United States for commercial production. He brought the seeds from Sweden to the Seed Savers Exchange where they expanded to become one of the most popular heirlooms on the market.
Black Krim tomatoes are most beloved for their wonderful flavor. This flavor is tough to pinpoint, with several adjectives ascribed to it, but the most often repeated terms are full and rich.
Matching their interesting color, these fruits are often described as smoky and sweet. But, the sweetness is mild and when combined with other flavor notes is argued to taste slightly salty. This unique combination, along with the punch of flavor, is what makes these plants so sought after.
The fruits are somewhat acidic as all tomatoes are, but much less so than other varieties. If you don’t enjoy excessively tart or acidic fruits, Black Krim is a great option for you.
Some gardeners have gone as far as to say Black Krim is the best-tasting tomato they have ever tried. To truly test this theory, the only thing to do is try them out for yourself.
Best Uses For Black Krim Tomatoes
Thanks to their impressive flavors, Black Krim tomatoes are most often eaten fresh. Whether sliced for sandwiches, used in salads or simply eaten as a snack on their own, this is where their tastes truly shine. Eating fresh also allows you to make the most of their color, adding plenty of drama to any dish.
Black Krim tomatoes are also on the juicier side, especially when watered correctly. This makes them ideal for juicing or making cocktails if you have a mountain of tomatoes at the end of the season and no idea what to do with them.
To make your own homemade tomato juice, chop up a few pounds of ripe Black Krim and toss in a pot mixed with half a small onion, a few teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of salt and a few drops of hot sauce. Simmer to extract as much juice as possible for about 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve and allow it to cool before enjoying.
What Are Black Krim Tomatoes Best Known For?
Flavor is one important aspect of Black Krim tomatoes, but not the only reason people choose to grow them. They are also appreciated for their stunning color, one of the few black tomato varieties available.
While their color is closer to a dark burgundy than true black, this deeper hue is still impressive and very different from the tomatoes you’ll find in your local grocery store.
In terms of growth, they are also known for a particularly negative characteristic – cracking. Black Krim tomatoes are more prone to cracking than some other species thanks to their high moisture content. Although this is something to be aware of, a solid watering schedule and technique will help prevent these issues from occurring, giving you the highest yield possible.
Where To Buy Black Krim Tomato Seeds
Thanks to the popularity of this variety, Black Krim seeds are widely available from growers and potentially your local nursery too, depending on stock and time of year. Some of the most popular seed suppliers online include:
How To Grow Black Krim Tomatoes
Black Krim is not a tough tomato variety to grow. You can follow the same planting and care routine as you would any other tomatoes in your garden.
For the longest possible harvest, sow seeds indoors just over a month before the last frost date in your region. Transplant as soon as the soil warms in a full sun position for the best possible growth. Full sun exposure will also deepen the color of the fruits.
These indeterminate plants will require support to grow successfully. Stakes and cages are two common options, but there are many other methods to try.
Watering correctly is the most important aspect of care to prevent cracking. Water as soon as the soil begins to dry out – typically around once per week – adding more moisture in warm weather. Water deeply to encourage a strong root system and never water overhead. Keeping the soil consistently moist will encourage even fruit development and give you the best-flavored tomatoes possible.
Enjoy your harvest after around 80 days by slicing them to eat fresh or using to make your own tomato juice with an unbeatable taste.