Bushel Boy vs. Perfect Circle: comparing greenhouse tomatoes

Two greenhouse tomatoes: Which is tops?

Two greenhouse tomatoes: Which is tops?

My tomato plants have flowers, but, alas, no fruit. It's just a little too early in the growing season to savor the juiciness of a homegrown Sweet 100 or Cherokee Purple.

In anticipation of August, I had a hankering for tomato-cucumber-chickpea-red onion salad, and decided to compare two regional greenhouse tomatoes purchased at the Wedge.

Acknowledging that there are variations in crops and pick dates among other factors that couldn't be controlled for, here's what I thought of the two specimens:


Bushel Boy is grown in Owatonna, and there's something very "Prairie Home Companion" about the qualifier attached to the company's otherwise boastful slogan, "Probably the Best Tomato in Minnesota." The Bushel Boy Beefsteak's firmness and pinkish cast are the first indications that it's never going to compare to its garden-grown cousins. Still, it has a respectably tart juiciness and an only slightly mealy texture.

Perfect Circle is an organic greenhouse in Lake Mills, Iowa, that supplies slicing tomatoes among other produce. This tomato had a more aggressive acidity, which helped make up for its lack of otherwise tomatoey flavor. But after the juiciness of each bite receded, the lingering impression was of the tomato's unpleasant mealiness.

The winner? While Perfect Circle had bolder flavor, that aspect was overshadowed by its subpar texture. In a pinch, I'd pick Bushel Boy while patiently waiting for this season's Green Zebras to arrive.