Crimson Sprinter is a medium, red, slicing tomato on semi-determinate vines. This old school gem was bred by Dr. T. Graham in Guelph, Ontario at the Ontario Agricultural College. Reportedly, the Sprinter in its name is refers to speed skaters sprinting toward the finish, as this tomato sprints to ripen before winter in the north.

The crimson label of course refers to the wonderfully, rich color of the fruit – but crimson is different than the average red tomato. The old-gold-crimson allele is a recessive trait that results in a decrease of beta-carotene, but an average of 50% increase in the ripe fruit’s lycopene content! Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that (unlike most phytonutrients) isn’t degraded by cooking. Some people may view the decrease in beta-carotene as a negative, but consider how many other fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene in our diets (carrots, winter squash, kale, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, etc). Alternatively, lycopene is generally only found in pink grapefruit, guava, watermelon, and tomatoes!

Crimson Sprinter hasn’t been super impressive. It’s definitely been one of the most disease susceptible during all stages, both in the field and greenhouse. Above all, the plants have some quality issues: lots of scabs and zippers. With enhanced phytonutrient traits, I’m always hopeful these will translate into enhanced flavor. This is one of the better tomatoes in the trial, I think. It lingers nicely on your palate and the aroma changes slightly as you chew. Skin is a bit chewy, but overall a pretty good tomato as far as eating goes.

First Ripe Fruit:

Block 1Block 2Block 3
August 15August 18August 15

All harvest data represents two Crimson Sprinter plants from each block, or six plants total:

Harvest 1 (August 29, 2017)

Picking Ease (5=easy, 1=difficult): 3

Marketable Fruit: 11 fruit weighing 1369g (3.02 lb.) Unmarketable Fruit: 12 fruit weighing 1443g (3.18 lb.)

Reasons why unmarketable: scabbing, zippers, cracking, too small

Harvest 2 (September 5, 2017)

Picking Ease (5=easy, 1=difficult): 4

Marketable Fruit: 14 fruit weighing 1828g (4.03 lb.) Unmarketable Fruit: 5 fruit weighing 275g (9.7 oz.)

Reasons why unmarketable: scabbing, zippers, too small

Average Fruit Size: 6.74 cm x 6.4 cm      (2.65″ x 2.52″)

Harvest 3 (September 12, 2017)

Picking Ease (5=easy, 1=difficult): 3

Marketable Fruit: 12 fruit weighing 1392g (3.07 lb.) Unmarketable Fruit: 6 fruit weighing 534g (1.18 lb.)

Reasons why unmarketable: scabbing, cracking, too small

Harvest 4 (September 19, 2017)

Picking Ease (5=easy, 1=difficult): 4

Marketable Fruit: 12 fruit weighing 1296g (2.86 lb.)   Unmarketable Fruit: 4 fruit weighing 210g (7.41 oz.)

Reasons why unmarketable: scabbing, too small