“Santiam Sunrise” is a work in progress from Adaptive Seeds. It is meant to be a replacement for the hybrid Sungold F1, and is said to be a segregate from crosses with “Russian cherry tomato material.” I am uncertain if Sungold F1 is a parent, but beta-carotene appears to be present in this variety, similar to other Sungold F1 crosses and growouts. It is also unclear if one or more Russian cherries were involved in the development of Santiam Sunrise. What is clear and certain to me is the superlative flavor. Remembering that my idea of superlative flavor involves sweetness, tang, and a little something else such as fruitiness which gives an extra edge over a flavor that is simply balanced between sugar and acid.
This season I decided to trial a comparison of a handful of dark cherry varieties as well as a handful of orange cherry varieties. Santiam Sunrise was one of the best in flavor and was nicely productive in its 3 gallon pot with 2 gallons of dirt.
When I stated above that there was an appearance of beta carotene in this variety, I based that premise upon the subtle coloration at the center of the flesh. Every orange variety with a known beta carotene inheritance that I have seen has a pinkish tint to the centermost flesh, more visible at full ripeness. It can be a bit difficult to pick up in a photo.
If I have any problem at all with Santiam Sunrise, it is that this is said to still be in development, with an occasional red-fruited plant. I grew only orange-fruited plants; however, it is possible that red fruits could occur from my saved seeds. I will mark this as a developing variety since this may occur, and I do not know the filial generation of my seeds.
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