What is the origin of the Raf tomato?
The French tomato that has conquered the world from Almeria.
In the 50s the predominant tomato varieties in Almeria were Marmande and Muchamiel, two varieties that were characterized by being very unproductive, of very weak bearing and roots, but with a lot of flavor. Of these two varieties the most appreciated and with more flavor was the Marmande, highlighting above all the type "French Marmande", commonly called by the farmers "quarantine".
At the end of the 50s, the fungus “Fusarium oxysporum” was adapted to the climate and humidity conditions of the Vega de Almería, massively attacking the root of the Marmande variety, and generating great losses among farmers.
In 1961 the CLAUSE seed house, and owner of the patent of one of the French Marmande strains (Marmande Clause 27), decided to find a solution to the problem of the Fusarium fungus, crossing this strain with a selection of tomato from South America by natural selection And what if it was tough. After 7 years of natural selection, a new strain of Marmande tomato with more resistance to the Fusarium was finally achieved.
Thus in 1967, the CLAUSE seed house renamed its famous French Marmande under the name of RAF, acronym for Fusarium Resistant.
Currently there are many seeds that try to imitate the authentic Raf tomato. However, its flavor, texture, and properties are not comparable to the originals that we sell in our family since its origin.
They are the same Raf tomatoes that our grandparents were already growing.
When the first snows arrive in Sierra Nevada, the northern winds that circulate between Sierra Alhamilla and Sierra de Gádor enter the Bay of Almería, mixing with the sea breezes of the Mediterranean, giving the areas of La Cañada and El Alquián a climate unique and special to grow tomato Raf.
Where is Raf tomato grown?
The Bay of Almeria, a perfect place to grow Raf tomato.
Although the RAF was born in France, this tomato emerged as an alternative to the Marmande variety, and whose objective was its implantation in the southeast of Spain.
In 1967 began its introduction, mainly in Alicante and Murcia, but the results were not as expected, since the tomato irrigated with fresh water from these areas did not have a great acceptance.
In 1968, and almost by chance, CLAUSE technicians displaced in Almería decided to leave some samples of RAF seeds to some farmers in the Bay of Almeria area, including “Paca and Pepe”, our parents, who did not hesitate to Try these seeds in the same farm where we grow our Raf tomatoes today. That coincidence became successful, when they discovered that, with the different and special conditions of this area with salty waters and gentle winds from the north, the taste, texture and sweetness were simply unsurpassed.
It was then, and after several trials, when it was discovered that this tomato had special dependence on certain soil, water and climate conditions, which only occurred in certain areas of the Bay of Almeria.
How has Raf tomato evolved?
The picaresque has evolved, but the Raf tomato remains the same.
To understand the evolution of the RAF as a "brand", you have to understand the specialness of this tomato.
RAF there is only one, and it is special, since it can only be grown in a few areas of Almería, which from its origin gave it that exclusive tomato label and with very low production.
Thus, in the 90s and with the appearance of long-lived hybrid varieties, most farmers moved to these varieties, leaving the RAF as a minority tomato. One of these varieties was “DELIZIA”, the first RAF hybrid that quickly spread throughout the Almeria coast, and whose success resulted in the emergence of many more hybrid tomato varieties or imitations of RAF.
As an authentic RAF tomato there is very little, and due to the commercial interests of farmers and marketers, even today, there is no clear legislation that regulates and forces to label each tomato with the name of its variety, appearing in the markets all under the name of tomato RAF, although in reality the authentic one is exactly the same as in 1969 our parents, Paca and Pepe began to cultivate.