Tomatoes are fruits that originated in Peru where it got its Aztec name that translates to “a plump thing with a navel.” There are around 10,000 varieties of tomatoes all over the world that can be pink, purple, yellow, black, or white.
Although it’s botanically classified as a fruit, the U.S. tariff law of 1887 classified it as a vegetable on the basis that it’s often served with dinner and not as a dessert. Tomato is the state vegetable of New Jersey, the official state fruit and beverage of Ohio, both the state fruit and vegetable of Arkansas.
Tomatoes are very popular in the Mediterranean cuisine and make a star appearance on the Italian pizza and pasta sauces. The first tomato that arrived in Europe was yellow and referred to as pomo d’oro or the “golden apple.” In Spain, one of the most popular summer festivals is La Tomatina tomato fight in Buñol near Valencia where about 110,000 kgs of tomatoes are pelted at everything that moves during the last Wednesday of August.
Table of Contents
Tomatoes Nutrition Facts Chart
Now let’s jump into your tomato options.
Beefsteak tomatoes are known for their size, getting up to six inches in diameter. In fact, some of them weigh between one and three pounds, making them a very large variety of tomato. They need a long growing season, which means you may not want to plant them if you have short or cool summers, and they are thick and meaty, making them perfect for sandwiches.
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Cherry and grape tomatoes are easy to grow and small, which is one of the reasons they are recommended for those who have never before planted tomatoes. They usually get no more than one inch in diameter, and they tend to be very resistant to disease. They can do well even in cases of a drought or otherwise poor soil, and they are perfect for people who have cool or very short summers, which means they even do well in containers.
These are tomatoes grown on a bush and which get up to three feet in height. Instead of leaves, the buds located at the ends of all the branches form flowers. They then flower in a short period of time, set and ripen the fruit, and then die. These are in contrast to indeterminate tomatoes, which grow on vines instead of bushes.
Hybrid Versus Heirloom Tomatoes
Hybrid tomatoes produce a large crop and are easily harvested, not to mention disease resistant. They are a cross between several cultivars, and you can store them for a long time because they were bred to be that way. On the other hand, heirloom tomatoes usually taste better than hybrid tomatoes and they do well under local conditions, and since they can’t be shipped long distances because of their thin skin, they are normally passed down from neighbor to neighbor or family member to family member. They are usually not found in grocery stores, but in local farmers’ markets instead.
Instead of growing on bushes such as determinate tomatoes do, indeterminate tomatoes grow on vines and therefore, they need to be supported by either staking or caging them. These tomatoes continue growing until killed by frost, and this is usually later in the growing season than determinate tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes also produce very large crops and have a much longer growing period than determinate tomatoes do. They have lateral shoots found off the main stems which set flowers, and it is possible for them to get up to 10 feet tall if given the support they need.
Roma (Paste) Tomatoes
Roma tomatoes are thick and have few seeds, but a lot of pectins. They are a sweeter variety than other types of tomato, and they make the perfect tomato sauce or paste. They also have very little moisture in them, enabling you to store them for a very long time and cooking to the perfect consistency when making pastes or sauces. They have firm flesh, a sweet taste, and are perfect for topping pizzas or for making dried tomatoes.
A little tartier and juicier than cherry or beefsteak tomatoes, salad tomatoes usually get up to around three inches in diameter. You can slice them and put them into a sandwich or chop them in small pieces and put them in a salad. They are the perfect tomato to make a tomato sauce with, especially if you cook them down to a good consistency, and some of them taste a bit like tropical fruits. In fact, they are the perfect combination of tartness, juiciness, and acidity, which balance one another out to create the perfect tomato taste.
Specific Types of Tomatoes
Big Beef Tomatoes
Big Beef tomatoes bloom early in the growing season and can get up to six inches in diameter. Best of all, they grow well almost anywhere, and they have a great flavor and firm texture. They are also one of the smartest types of tomatoes to grow when you live in a cooler climate.
Black Krim Tomatoes
This fruit doesn’t always look like a tomato because it is large and reddish-purple in color. It is sweet and very flavorful, and it is a beautiful fruit when you cut it in wedges. An absolute favorite among tomato lovers.
Brandywine Pink Tomatoes
These are a classic type of beefsteak tomato. Although they don’t produce as much fruit as other types of beefsteak tomatoes, the Brandywine Pink tomato has a great flavor that all lovers of this fruit can appreciate.
Caspian Pink Tomatoes
These tomatoes are indeterminate tomatoes that are juicy, sweet, and have a great tomato flavor. A classic beefsteak tomato.
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
Cherokee purple tomatoes are a deep-red color with a purplish shoulder that can be grown even by people with limited space. It is an indeterminate tomato that has a sweet, smoky-like taste.
Hillbilly tomatoes are heirloom tomatoes and have an orange color with reddish streaks throughout them. Looking a lot like a peach, these tomatoes are perfect in salads and on sandwiches.
Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes
The distinguishing characteristic of this tomato is its size. It can be up to two pounds in weight and is very large and heavy. Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are heirloom tomatoes that produce a lot of fruit on very strong vines.
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Black Cherry Tomatoes
The black cherry tomatoes are disease resistant and a type of heirloom tomato. It has purplish-red fruit that grows in clusters of one inch, and it is known not for sweetness, but for its true tomato taste.
Isis Candy Tomatoes
These high-yield indeterminate tomatoes have a unique look because they are yellow in color with red streaks in them. They are very tasty and sweet.
Sungold tomatoes are sweet and orange in color and they grow to approximately one inch in diameter. They are an indeterminate type of tomato that produces for a very long time, usually until the first frost arrives.
Sunrise Bumble Bee Tomatoes
This is a cherry tomato that is orange in color with red streaks throughout the flesh. If you make a tasty, attractive summer salad, don’t forget to add the Sunrise Bumble Bee tomatoes.
Sweet 100 Tomatoes
Sweet 100 tomatoes taste yummy and are a type of indeterminate tomato. They grow bite-sized tomatoes on long trusses, and they produce very large crops.
Roma (Paste) Tomatoes
Big Mama Tomatoes
These tomatoes get up to five inches in diameter, hence their name, and they have a slightly oval shape. They are heavy enough to make the perfect sauce, and they are especially tasty if you cut them in half and fire-roast them before cooking them.
Dwarf Saucy Mary Tomatoes
These fruits are elongated with a green color and stripes of both dark and light green. When ripe, their flesh is also green, and they are very juicy and tasty. They usually weigh no more than six ounces.
King Humbert Tomatoes
These are indeterminate tomatoes that are plum shaped and very red in color. They are very meaty and juicy, and they are great not only for sauces but also if you want a good dried tomato. Of course, you can also eat them fresh if you like, because they have a mild and sweet flavor.
Orange Banana Tomatoes
The thing that makes this tomato unique is its deep-orange color, which is rare in paste tomatoes. With a nice fruity flavor, the Orange Banana tomato is great for salsa, sauces, canned, and as a dried tomato.
San Marzano Tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes are oblong in shape and produce a lot of fruit. They are large tomatoes, up to five inches long, and these indeterminate tomatoes always grow vigorously.
Sausage tomatoes are elongated and can get up to six inches long. Great for sauces, pastes, and catsup, the Sausage tomato is an indeterminate tomato that is extremely flavorful.
Speckled Roman Paste Tomatoes
These tomatoes are elongated and have a pointed tip. They are a beautiful shade of red with orange streaks throughout, and they are extremely tasty. They are also called the Spotted Roman, and they can weigh up to six ounces.
Black Zebra Tomatoes
Black Zebras are indeterminate heirlooms that taste great and have purplish-black flesh and green streaks. They are also resistant to many types of disease.
These are mid-sized tomatoes that get from three to four inches in diameter. They produce a large crop and have the perfect combination of acidity and sweetness. They also produce until late in the growing season.
Costoluto Genovese Tomatoes
These tomatoes are unique in that they have so many ridges that they look as though they are misshapen. Deep red in color with orange shoulders, the Costoluto Genovese tomato is extremely juicy and tasty, so they are definitely considered a favorite among those who love tomatoes.
Early Girl Tomatoes
These tomatoes are usually harvested early – hence their name – because they grow early in the season and do especially well in cooler climates or areas that have short summers. The deep-red fruit is the perfect blend of a true tomato taste and just the right amount of sweetness.
Enchantment tomatoes are oval-shaped and bright-red in color. It grows on a vine in large clusters, and it has a great taste. In fact, this type of tomato can be used in sauces, for oven-dried tomatoes, and of course, in salads and sandwiches, so it is quite versatile. The fruit gets to roughly three inches in diameter.
Green Zebra Tomatoes
These tomatoes get up to four inches in diameter and are a green color with darker green stripes running through it. An excellent heirloom tomato, they get slightly yellow when they’re ripe and grow very fast.
Pantano Romanesco Tomatoes
These are wonderful heirloom tomatoes that are perfect for slicing and placing on sandwiches. They have the perfect blend of tartness and sweetness, similar to citrus fruit, and they belong in the indeterminate class.
Stupice tomatoes grow to approximately two inches in diameter and are deep red in color and oblong shaped. The best part of growing these tomatoes is that they produce for a very long time, even if you experience cool or short summers, so you can enjoy them for a very long time.
Sweet Clusters Tomatoes
If you see large clusters of tomatoes in a hothouse in the middle of winter, they are likely Sweet Clusters tomatoes. These fruits are great tasting, having a combination of tartness, sweetness, and the perfect tomato flavor.
These tomatoes are bright orange in color and have a perfect flavor. They are juicy, but not too juicy, have very few seeds, and are similar in taste to a sweet mango and other citrus fruits.
Tomatoes of Unique Colors
These tomatoes weigh roughly eight ounces and have green skin with hints of yellow. When they’re fully ripe, they are a bright-green color, and they are indeterminate tomatoes.
Long Keeper Tomatoes
These indeterminate tomatoes have orange skin and orange-red flesh. They weigh approximately six ounces and are very solid tomatoes, which is why you can keep them for a very long time before cooking them.
White Wonder Tomatoes
White Wonder tomatoes are indeterminate tomatoes that weigh approximately eight ounces. Their flesh and skin are both a creamy white.
Yellow Stuffer Tomatoes
These are lobed, indeterminate tomatoes weighing only around four ounces. They are shaped like a pepper and have a lemon-yellow color. Yellow Stuffer tomatoes are semi-hollow and therefore, they are perfect for stuffing.