At the end of the growing season, there are always some tomatoes that really stick out in my mind. Ones that produced really well. Others that looked really beautiful. And, of course, the tastiest ones. And there are some, like Ananas Noire, that are all three!
Ananas Noire translates from French to Black Pineapple. It was found growing in a field of ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes, as a natural cross with an unknown black tomato. And how lucky we are that we have this tomato, which is amazing in so many ways.
Knowing When to Harvest
Since this tomato is partially green when ripe, knowing when to pick it is important for those new to growing green-when-ripe tomatoes.
To tell when any tomato is ripe, the first step is to look for colour. On a fully green-when-ripe tomato, you can ignore this part. But, with Ananas Noire, look for some red blushing on the bottom.
Next, consider when you transplanted your plants and the days to maturity (DTM) of the variety. For Ananas Noire, the DTM is about 80 days.
And the last way to tell if a tomato is ripe is the feel. A ripe tomato should have some give to it when given a gentle squeeze. Using this method, you can tell if a tomato is ripe with your eyes closed. And you get good at knowing what a perfectly ripe tomato feels like.
In the Kitchen
Ananas Noire tomato is big, often one and a half pounds. It’s perfect for all your slicing needs. Burgers, sandwiches, and more, this tomato has you covered. Slice it up when you have guests coming over and show it off. It also looks stunning when added to salads.
Flavour wise, it’s amazing: so delicious, with a sweet and smoky, rich flavour. It has juicy, soft flesh.
Grow Your Own
Start this tomato like any other. It is indeterminate, meaning it will keep on growing until killed by frost or disease. If you have a limited growing space, and you don’t want the plant going crazy, I would recommend training it. Use a stake, trellis, or cage to keep it upright, and away from pests. Tying the plant to your support system (you can use twine, clips, strips of fabric) can help support the plant and prevent it from falling with the weight of all the heavy fruits.
Where to get it
Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2018—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many of her stories—and the source of produce that she sells in her neighborhood. In 2015, at the age of nine, Emma co-authored of Grow Gardeners, Kid-Tested Gardening with Children with her father and started helping him at garden talks and workshops. For the past couple of years, Emma has been giving her own talks at libraries, seed exchanges, garden clubs, and garden shows. Emma is the co-host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. She hosts kids gardening videos on the From Dirt to Dishes gardening channel on YouTube. Her latest book, Gardening with Emma, helps kids find the fun in gardening (and helps adults remember how much fun gardening is!)