One of the new heirloom cultivars we tried for 2012 was Beauty King. I was drawn to it because I wanted to try a striped tomato with lots of flavor.
Geography/History: According to various web sources, this tomato is from Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms, Napa, California. and is likely a Big Rainbow X Green Zebra cross.
Catalog Description (Wild Boar): By far the best looking and tasting red yellow bi-color I have tried. Mid to late, 75-90 days. Indet. regular leaf. 12-20 oz. fruit. Good to very good production. Large stunning red yellow bi-color, yellow with flashy red stripes(not blotches). Interior is yellow with bright red streaks, very meaty. Very good sweet tomato flavor. Cross between a Big Rainbow and Green Zebra.
Bay Area Reality: We found this vine to ripen later than some of our other cultivars (including Brandywine) and it didn’t produce that many tomatoes this year. It had a tendency to have a thick skin that cracks easily and has a fair amount of scab as you can see from this photo. The flesh was pretty juicy and loose. We were not impressed with its production. However, we really loved the flavor.
Taste: The tomato had a stronger acidity than our Brandywines and had a really clean tomato flavor without other overtones. It took my Spanish Rice to the next level. I don’t know if it would be a great sandwich tomato given the looseness of the flesh, scabbiness, and thick skin, but for the wow factor of that cooked tomato alone, we plan on trying it again for 2013.
Final Verdict: We are going to try it again for 2013 and baby the plant a little more – use mulch and more consistent watering to see if we can cut down on the cracks and scabs. I might try Solar Flare from Wild Boar for 2013 as it is described to be a F7-Cross with Beauty King selected for flavor, “WOW” Factor, production, increased earliness, scab resistance.