When someone is embarrassed, how do we describe the way they look? The common phrase is, “They’re red as a tomato!” but there are quite a few varieties of tomato that aren’t red.
Enter the Carolina Gold Tomato!
Get that picture of your classic scarlet fruit out of your head! I’m about to introduce you to a tomato that’s a little bit different.
Let me tell you everything you need to know about cooking, growing, and tracking down seeds for this Midas-touched tomato.
Characteristics of the Carolina Gold Tomato
Let’s start by going over the appearance, taste, and traits of the Carolina Gold tomato.
Appearance of the Carolina Gold Tomato
As I said, this isn’t your garden variety (get it?) tomato. It has that classic shape expected from a tomato, near-perfectly round but a bit irregular at the top and bottom, so it’s familiar in that regard.
While the shape is recognizable, it’s the color of the Carolina Gold tomato that stands out.
Though its name does suggest you’ll be seeing gold when you track down these tomatoes, that’s not quite accurate. You’ll find that while there is a strong golden undertone, these fruits are closer to orange.
Slightly misleading outward appearance aside, once you cut these beauties open, you’ll discover a gold mine waiting inside!
The inner portion of the fruit is where its gilded name likely comes from. While still orange-leaning, the golden tones are much stronger when you cut the Carolina Gold open.
You’ll also be amazed at the size of these fruits—Carolina Golds can reach sizes of up to 12 ounces! When you add that a single tomato plant produces at least a dozen or more fruits on average, that’s a pretty hefty harvest.
Taste of Carolina Gold Tomatoes
The flavor is described as leaning more sweet than savory. It’s a fairly subtle flavor, making it the perfect addition to culinary dishes without overpowering the palate or overtaking the star of the dish. They’re also low in acidity, so keep that in mind when looking at dishes to pair them with.
Carolina Gold Tomato Plant Traits
While the fruits themselves are quite hardy and huge (not to mention disease-resistant!), tomato plants themselves don’t possess the strongest of stalks. They require some extra support, often in the form of trellises or stakes.
These plants aren’t fast fruiters. It takes about 70 days for them to reach maturity, so if you’re hoping for a quick harvest, you might be better off heading to the grocery store. But with a little patience and TLC, you can get a large yield of these tomatoes right from your backyard!
Using the Carolina Gold Tomato
Of course, the easiest way to up your tomato intake is by slicing one up and snacking on it! While it’s considerably more common to see tomatoes getting put into other dishes, it’s perfectly fine to eat them all on their own if you find the flavor and texture pleasant.
I’m more of a side salad person myself, but there’s no reason not to enjoy the literal fruits of your labor straight off the vine! (However, if you use pesticides while gardening—and even if you don’t—make sure you wash the fruits carefully before consuming or cooking them!)
Carolina Gold tomatoes are a fantastic choice to cook with. Their mild but delicious flavor is the perfect addition to any of your favorite tomato dishes. Plus, their size ensures you won’t need more than a couple of them to complete your recipes!
You can substitute these tomatoes for just about any other kind in a recipe if you’re looking for a sweeter flavor. You can even make a golden tomato sauce to slather your pasta in whenever you please.
Another thing you can do with tomatoes—especially these prolific, rather large ones—is canning!
One downfall of growing your own tomato plants is the possibility you and your family won’t be able to use them up before they spoil.
You can either store them intact in the pantry, fridge, or freezer, or you can choose to can them!
By removing the skins, sealing them in sterilized jars, and processing them in a canner, you can store your tomatoes for about a year and a half.
When is the Carolina Gold Tomato in season?
As mentioned, the Carolina Gold takes about two and a half months to reach maturity.
You’ll often find them ready to harvest near the middle or end of summer, though if you plant them later, they will naturally mature later.
You can determine when they’ll be ready by carefully monitoring when you plant them. Just remember, you still need to abide by the time of the last frost in your area no matter what.
Impatience will only earn you a heap of dead seedlings!
Growing Carolina Gold Tomatoes at Home
While tomatoes aren’t too fussy, particularly Carolina Golds, you will want to provide them with a trellis for the vines to climb as they grow.
You’re in luck—the Carolina Gold happens to be a disease-resistant tomato variety!
However, they aren’t considered pest resistant. If you want to be safe and keep your new tomato garden well-protected, invest in a pest prevention kit.
Where to Buy Carolina Gold Tomato Seeds
Carolina Gold Tomato seeds can be tough to track down, but I’ve got you covered!
You can find a pack of these elusive seeds on Amazon and have them at your door in just a couple of days!
Grow Your Own Carolina Gold Tomatoes!
Now you know everything you need to know about growing, eating, and storing this golden child among tomatoes!
If you’re looking for more information on growing and caring for these delicious fruits, head over to the Tomato Plants page on our website to learn more!
- About the Author
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Cassidy Eubanks is a proud Michigander, an avid reader, a lover of colorful gardens, and a writer for Minneopa Orchards.
After earning her bachelor’s in Creative Writing (partially through virtual learning, thanks to the pandemic), gardening gave her an excuse to get outside and get away from all the screens. With a particular love for decorating with colorful flowers, using herbs grown in her own garden, and finding creative ways to build big gardens in small spaces, Cassidy enjoys helping others learn about growing their own food, flowers, and trees through Minneopa Orchards!