|Maglia Rosa -- This tomato is the wrong shape!|
Most people would agree that cherry tomatoes are round and paste tomatoes are oblong. Unfortunately, Maglia Rosa is a little pink cherry tomato with a confusing shape. Initial expectations are often for it to be "dry" like a grape or paste tomato. How confusing is that?!? It is a sweet little tomato, but expectations are often low, based on its shape. It would be interesting to know how many people have not grown the plants, or not tasted the fruits based on this confusion.
Maglia Rosa is a wispy runt
People are often impressed with long, sinewy tomato vines. But Maglia Rosa vines are short, and the plant grows best as a low bush. Trellising seems to only make things worse. Plus, Maglia Rosa has wispy leaves that make people think it is not getting enough water, or is diseased. It produces very well! But, it would be interesting to know how many times Maglia Rosa plants have been pulled because they didn't look "right", and before they could show off their impressive production capabilities.
When Maglia Rosa fruits reach peak color, the flavor is not that great at all
Maglia Rosa has a disconnect between its deepest, most brilliant pink color, and its best flavor. It tastes much, much better when it is light pink, even when it has hints of green. What kind of a tomato doesn't taste its best when it looks its best. Well, Maglia Rosa, unfortunately.
Why would anyone in their right mind want to grow Maglia Rosa?
Who knows? But perhaps it is because Maglia Rosa (when eaten at the right stage) is really a great tasting tomato. At least that's what tasting panels at the University of Florida and experts at Penn State have concluded. It might be because it is high in the aromatic compound Geranial (Citral), which is also found in citrus, lemon balm and lemon verbena -- and is correlated with taste-test performance.
It is also a very productive, and early, tomato (when you don't rip it out early because it looks funny). In fact, we know a number of small farmers in California, the Midwest, the Northeast and the South who rely on Maglia Rosa every year as their workhorse variety. Because of its dense foliage, it can harbor pathogens and pests, but we have found this to mainly be a problem when it is growing in a very large field of tomatoes, and not when it is grown in a row or two on a small, diversified farm.
It is also a GREAT container variety -- given all of its problems.