Commercially introduced by us in the U.S.!
Phonetically pronounced: eye-ash
This is an old market heirloom tomato named after the Ayaş province of Ankara, Turkey. As the hybrid seeds emerged in the Turkish seed market through the end of 1990’s, this valuable variety that I remember from my childhood, largely disappeared from grocery stores in 2000’s. Nowadays, finding true Ayaş tomatoes in grocery stores in Turkey is very challenging.
Fruits of this variety are firm, round and usually mid-size. While the flesh has that “from our childhood” tomato flavor that is excellent for fresh eating, what makes Ayaş unique is the flavorful crimson red tomato paste and sauces it can make. Plants are determinate and prolific. This is a mid-season variety with regular leaves, and offers a harvest in around 80 days from transplant.
We evaluated Ayaş seeds from various sources, and in 2015 decided that the seed (PI 629033) we found in USDA’s GRIN database fit what we were looking for the best. It took us some time to produce enough seeds to secure our seed stock but we are glad that we can offer this Turkish heirloom tomato now.