There are lots of varieties of cherry tomatoes out there to enjoy. But few are so eye-catching on the vine and unforgettable on the taste buds as the Chocolate Cherry Tomato! This little tomato is rapidly growing in popularity every year…so now is a great time to grow your own.
Read on to learn all about Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes, how to grow them, how to enjoy them, and so much more.
Characteristics of Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes
Like most cherry tomato varieties, the Chocolate Cherry Tomato is a smaller tomato perfect for snacking or including on salads. It tends to weigh just a couple of ounces and has a uniform, globular shape with a bit of shouldering near the steam when ripe.
The Chocolate Cherry Tomato derives its name from the deep brown blush on the skin as it ripens and matures. Though otherwise a rich brick red, that chocolate-colored shading is the trait that makes this cherry tomato stand out from the crowd.
Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes are a notably tasty, crack-resistant, but cold-sensitive variety. With proper care, you will see a bumper harvest that can be enjoyed in plenty of ways or stored for future use.
The Chocolate Cherry Tomato Specific
As a member of the cherry tomato family, the Chocolate Cherry Tomato shines its best in snacking or other raw consumption. This is a fantastic tomato for salads, either left whole or halved or quartered. It can be enjoyed as part of a fruit or veggie tray as well, where its unique coloring is sure to please.
Halves and quarters of Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes also add a real elegance to pasta dishes. You might also include them in a caprese salad, tossed in balsamic glaze alongside mozzarella pearls and fresh basil.
These tomatoes also make an excellent candidate for canning. They can be canned whole due to their smaller size, or you can cook them down into a homemade tomato sauce before canning.
Any sauce made with Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes is sure to please, not only due to its robust flavor profile but also its unique coloring owed to the tomato’s pigmentation.
Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes boast many of the same health benefits as other tomato varieties—with two notable benefits that go above and beyond what you will even find in most tomato varieties! These noteworthy nutrients are a pair of antioxidants called lycopene and anthocyanin.
Lycopene is fairly standard in most red fruits and is absolutely abundant in tomatoes; It’s what gives them their deep crimson shade. Studies show that the majority of lycopene consumed by the average adult in today’s world is through tomato-based products.
Anthocyanin, however, is the rarer antioxidant among tomato varieties. While it’s usually more prevalent in dark-skinned berries, that brown blush on your Chocolate Cherry Tomato is a nutrient powerhouse full of anthocyanin.
Together, these antioxidants work to help protect your cells from free radicals throughout the body. They reduce inflammation overall, which can help mitigate unwelcome symptoms like aching joints, menstrual discomfort, and even some mental symptoms as well.
In addition to its high levels of antioxidants, the Chocolate Cherry Tomato brings even more health benefits to the table! These include a great dose of Vitamins C and A, which help with the reduction of inflammation, the performance of the immune system, and vital functions like your eyesight.
These tomatoes also pack a wonderful punch of potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.
These nutrients help keep your energy up, your digestive system running smoothly, and so much more. Regular consumption of Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes truly does wonders for your system!
Growing at Home
Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes are an ideal variety to grow in your home garden…so long as you don’t live in too cold a climate! This tomato variety doesn’t do well at all with cold weather, so you will want to make sure you plant it at the proper time in order for it to truly thrive.
Preparing and Planting
First things first, you will want to pick the perfect plot in your garden to plant your tomato plants. Like most tomato varieties, the Chocolate Cherry needs full sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
In addition, this variety requires well-draining, mineral-rich, composted soil with a pH balance between 5.5 and 6.5. You can use a compost blend or manure to achieve this balanced ratio, and it’s good to make sure the soil is healthy before transplanting your young tomato plants in.
And speaking of transplants—that is the best way to start most tomato varieties, including the Chocolate Cherry. Because of their cold sensitivity, this plant in particular, should not be moved outdoors until the temperature is consistently around 70 degrees or above.
In order to not lose out on crucial growing time, begin your tomato plants indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the final threat of frost in your region. You can water them with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of high-quality Epsom salt to help them grow.
Be sure to harden the young plants off for the final week by placing them in a protected outdoor space for several hours a day, then bring them indoors again at night.
Once the risk of spring frost has passed, you can transplant your young tomato plants into the prepared soil. Space them 24 to 36 inches apart with rows three to four feet apart, and bury them up to the first two sets of mature leaves.
Caring and Maintaining
Once in the soil, be sure to water your tomato plants deeply once or twice a week. Avoid wetting the leaves, as this can lead to mildewing and other diseases.
You may also feed your tomato plants with a fish emulsion or organic tomato plant blend every two weeks to encourage healthy growth.
You should continue to compost as needed and prune excessive vine growth to help your plant concentrate its efforts and see its fruits reach optimal maturity.
Where to Buy Chocolate Cherry Tomato Seeds
Chocolate Cherry Tomato seeds can often be found in lawn and garden stores. When sourcing these seeds online, we recommend True Leaf Market’s Chocolate Cherry Seeds.
Wrapping Up the Chocolate Cherry Tomato
Are you ready to get started growing your Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes in your home garden? Before you kick off the process, be sure to check out our Tomato Plants page! This is a fantastic resource to learn about all the things tomato plants need—it will help you care for your plants so they truly flourish and thrive.