Last year Tomato Growers Supply sent a bonus packet of Giant Belgium Tomato seeds with my order. Free things are good, and free seeds are even better in my book! I started a couple seeds, transplanted them into the garden and quickly forgot about them as the season wore on.
Fast forward to later in the growing season. I noticed large tomatoes set on the two Giant Belgium plants. Large might be an understatement — HUGE is probably much more descriptive… Some of the fruits ended up being as big as a small plate!
Giant Belgium is a pink beefsteak-type tomato. It ripens from a pale green to yellow to pink beginning at the blossom end. I found out quickly if you wait until the entire fruit is pink it will be overripe. Pick the fruits when the shoulders at the stem end are still a bit green and yellow and they should be perfect.
What makes Giant Belgium my new favorite tomato? The taste! It is low in acid yet retains a smooth tomato taste. There is a fruity component to the flavor — the best I could come up with to describe it is a melon-like taste. It is subtle, yet noticeable.
The fruits are almost 100% “meat” too! The seed cavities are very small so there isn’t a lot of liquid and “gunk” when you slice it up.
And slice it up I did! I quickly fell into a routine of picking one Giant Belgium and slicing it up for lunch. With fruits averaging well over 1 pound each, the tomato ended up being the ENTIRE lunch more often than not! A dash of salt and I was one happy camper!
If you want to try Giant Belgium yourself there are a couple things you should be aware of. The skin is extremely thin, so delicate handling is a must. I quickly learned to pick the Giant Belgiums last so they would be at the very top of the basket. Also, they are slow to ripen. Once the fruit grows to size it takes several days for it to fully ripen up — more often than not it became an exercise in patience as I watched the pink color slowly work up the fruits. Last, as mentioned before, if you wait until the entire fruit is pink it will be mushy and overripe.