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‘Black Bear’ tomato was first introduced in SSE 2008 Yearbook by Neil Lockhart of Oblong, Illinois, USA, who obtained seeds from Reinhard Kraft, Neukirchen, Germany. Reinhard Kraft received seeds from Andrey Baranovski of Minsk, Belarus with a translated name that he felt was racially discriminatory. As it appeared to be a great tomato, Mr. Kraft chose a nice neutral name for it – ‘Black Bear’ – and shared seeds under this new name. The original Russian name for this tomato was ‘Negrityonok’. However, the original Russian variety named with this name is a much smaller tomato compared to what Reinhard Kraft observed in his growouts. It is obvious that just environmental growing conditions could not be responsible for such a huge difference in fruit sizes, therefore it makes sense to consider ‘Black Bear’ tomato a different strain.
Indeterminate, regular leaf plants produce large (8-12oz./230-350g.), purple/black, juicy beefsteak-type fruits with excellent, old-fashioned tomato flavor. Mid-season, about 75-80 days to maturity.