I apologize to fans of classic literature for that title, but I won’t apologize to anyone for my love of Juliet – not even to my wife. See, it was my darling wife who pointed out many of Juliet’s wonderful charms to begin with! Confused? Don’t be, because Juliet is one of our favorite tomatoes, and has been for many years.
Juliet is either a mini-Roma type, a saladette tomato or a large grape tomato depending on which way you look at it. This 1999 All-America Selections F1 hybrid tomato is prolific, disease-resistant, holds well on the vine, and the tomatoes almost never split or have blossom end rot. They grow in clusters, with up to 18 of the 1 to 2 ounce tomatoes per cluster, though clusters with 6-12 tomatoes are more common. Juliet has a sweet, rich and full tomato taste with nice balance.
It is our favorite tomato for drying, and for oven roasting. The tomatoes are easy to hold for slicing in half, and they look like little red raisins when dried. They’re good fresh and they’re great for using in salads like the Tabbouleh in the below photo. They’re also good in salsas, and I often use them in our Cherry Tomato Salsa. They’re even good for sauces and other cooked dishes. So why aren’t more people growing Juliet? That’s a good question!
Actually, I don’t know how many gardeners grow Juliet. They must be fairly popular, because they are carried by a lot of different seed companies. It’s just that I hear a lot more folks wax poetic about Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, or Cherokee Purple, or Brandywine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if I could only grow one tomato, it would likely be Juliet. That’s how much we love this tomato, and how versatile it is.
The somewhat similar looking Italian heirloom Princepe Borghese is famous for sun drying, but it left a lot to be desired in our trials. We found the taste to be bland at best, and it has been prone to BER here. And the yields are nowhere near as large as Juliet. I know they have their fans, but not here at Happy Acres.
Juliet vines are vigorous and indeterminate, and usually keep on producing here until frost if we keep them watered and fertilized. It’s a bullet-proof tomato worthy of high praise in my book. You can consider this post my love sonnet to you, Oh Juliet! I’ll be back later this week to show you how we dehydrate tomatoes like Juliet, and others, here at HA.