Cherokee Purple


Out of stock

Although this is the correct name for the tomato, the word “Cherokee” is actually Creek, while that same word in Cherokee language is “Tsa la gi” and it means “people of a different language.” The colonists who asked the Creek for the name of the Cherokees failed to ask the Creeks their name, and also never found out that the real name for Cherokee is “Ani-Yun-Wiya”, meaning the real people.

The myth of Cherokee origin is well established, but this tomato is actually most likely russian, and definitely not from a cherokee reservation in PA from 1990, which is what those who released it in the 90s claim. There has never been any cherokee community within PA even before colonization, and the last indigenous community in PA was burned and flooded in 1971 by president kennedy so there is little to no chance that this tomato was developed by indigenous people since it was taken north of the rio grande during colonization.

Cherokee Purple has a unique low level of chlorophyll for a purple (red flesh, clear skin, no chlorophyll breakdown) that gives the very round and weighty fruits and almost magical smearing of pinks and purples. They are regular leaf plants that are more productive than the average beefsteak type, and the skins held up better against the “stink bugs” than many other types in 2011, with no treatment organic or chemical. The flavor is similar to Eva’s Purple Ball, or a less sour Purple Calabash. About 20 seeds per packet.