I've been living in the Arizona desert for about 3 years now. One food I miss eating when I was living in Southern California is Fried Green Tomatoes, the farm next adjucent to my old neighborhood grew tomatoes and I bought a lot of my produce there. Since nobody grows tomatoes within 25-30 miles from me now, I've decided to grow my own and bought a large container and all the stuff I need to grow a couple plants. Our planting season has just begun and our local nurseries say the tomato plants will be in next week.
What variety do you like to use for Fried Green Tomatoes?
Any globe-type (as opposed to small oval paste type or cherry types) work just fine. I've never had a problem regardless of variety. I do agree with a previous poster about avoiding those types of tomatoes that remain green when ripe. What you want for Fried Green Tomatoes are unripe tomatoes. While fried or sauteed ripe tomatoes are just fine in their own right, it's not the same thing.
I had to smile at this request, since I never thought of growing a variety especially for Fried Green Tomatoes! I've always used the leftover unripened fruit of any variety that stuck around at the end of the season (usually the late ripening ones) for FGT.
One thing I would NOT recommend is growing a green tomato variety for this purpose. I'm not going to raise them next year (even though some are quite tasty) because I have such a hard time telling when they are ripe. (Right now I have a Green Doctor Frosted bush that has had dozens of fruits on it for over a month, but repeated samplings have shown that they are still not ready to be eaten raw. Maybe I'll have to fry them!)
I agree on that, though I personally love green when ripes above all other kinds. You actually had the misfortune to pick a really hard one in Green Doctors Frosted; it's one of the few green when ripe varities that has a clear skin trait (similar to what turns a red tomato into a pink one). with those there it's actually fairly easy, you just look for when the skin looks yellowish. With the few clear skinned ones, you have to go by feel; wait for them to be soft.
As a side note, Green when ripes are also a lousy choice for making tomato sauce, including the few plum ones. Heating a tomato changes it's pigments. Pink,orange yellow and black tomatoes tend to all end up as much the same shade of red that reds do, Whites will turn sort of orangey. Greens on the other hand turn a really revolting shade of olive drab (sort of the color of guacamole that's been left in the air to oxidise). So if you have green when ripe plums, like Green Sausage or Chile Verde assuming that one is a plum (it's long but I have never actually eaten one so I don't know) keep them for things like Salsa and Bruschetta, dishes that are not heated.
I'm not a gardener, but I can tell you that fried green tomatoes will work out fine for almost any medium-large tomato variety. Last year we got about a bushel of green tomatoes from our CSA at the end of the season. Almost half of them were paste tomatoes (similar to roma), and they fried up just fine. We made the rest into green tomato jam.