Tomatoes, in their myriad forms, are an undeniable culinary staple, enhancing a wide array of dishes with their delectable flavors. Their exceptional versatility shines, whether grilled, roasted, sautéed, or enjoyed as a wholesome snack. Each Variety, from the robust Beefsteak to the zesty cherry tomato, brings a unique flavor and a wealth of antioxidants to elevate your meals.
Navigating the diverse world of tomatoes may leave you pondering over their differences. Fear not—we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide to help you discern the distinct types of tomatoes and their culinary applications, ensuring you select the ideal tomato for your upcoming culinary creation.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
A medium tomato also includes the following nutrients:1
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Calcium: 12 mg
- Magnesium: 13.5 mg
- Phosphorus: 29.5 mg
- Potassium: 292 mg
- Vitamin C: 17 mg
- Choline: 8.2 mg
- Lycopene: 3.2 mg
Tomatoes are low in calories and rich in nutrients, including hydration benefits. They provide protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, choline, and lycopene.
Cooking tomatoes helps the body absorb antioxidants more effectively. They support the immune system, bones, and blood.
Tomatoes are good for heart health due to their potassium content and can lower the risk of heart disease. They aid exercise recovery by reducing muscle soreness and fatigue.
Tomatoes may also protect against dementia and prostate cancer. For individuals with diabetes, tomatoes help balance blood sugar levels. They promote collagen production for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
How many different types of tomatoes are there?
|Small, bite-sized tomatoes that are typically red or yellow in color. They are known for their sweetness and are often used in salads.
|Plum-shaped tomatoes with dense flesh and low moisture content. They are ideal for making sauces, pastes, and canning.
|Sauces, pastes, canning
|San Marzano Tomato
|An Italian heirloom variety known for its elongated shape and rich flavor. It is commonly used in Italian dishes, particularly tomato sauces.
|Tomato sauces, pasta dishes
|A popular hybrid tomato variety that produces large, juicy fruits. It has a balanced flavor and is excellent for slicing and using in sandwiches.
|A unique heirloom tomato variety with a dark purple color and a rich, sweet flavor. It is often used in salads or eaten fresh.
|Salads, fresh eating
|Small and round tomatoes with a sweet and tangy flavor. They are often used in salads or as a garnish.
|An early-ripening tomato variety with a good balance of sweetness and acidity. It is versatile and can be used in various dishes.
|Salads, sandwiches, sauces
|A unique tomato variety with a bluish-purple skin and a sweet, fruity flavor. It adds a pop of color to salads and dishes.
|A large tomato variety with a meaty texture and excellent flavor. It is often used for slicing and canning.
|A popular hybrid tomato variety is known for its disease resistance and high yield. It has a good balance of sweetness and acidity.
|A brown-colored tomato variety with a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. It is often used in salads or as a topping for sandwiches.
|Sweet, slightly tangy
|An heirloom tomato variety with a dark red or purple color and a complex flavor. It is often used in salads or eaten fresh.
|Salads, fresh eating
|A small to medium-sized tomato with green and yellow stripes. It has a tangy flavor and is excellent for adding color to dishes.
|A striped tomato variety with a tangy flavor. It is often used in salads or sliced for sandwiches.
|A visually striking tomato variety with yellow and red stripes. It has a mild flavor and is excellent for slicing.
|An heirloom tomato variety is known for its large size and excellent flavor. It has a sweet yet tangy taste and is often used in sandwiches.
|Sandwiches, fresh eating
|A large tomato variety with yellow and red streaks. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that is great for slicing or using in salads.
|A large tomato variety with red and yellow streaks. It has a mild yet sweet flavor and is often used in salads or sliced for sandwiches.
|A small cherry tomato variety known for its intense sweetness. It is perfect for snacking or adding to salads.
|A Spanish tomato variety with a distinctive ribbed shape and a sweet yet slightly acidic flavor.
|Sweet, slightly acidic
|Super Sweet 100
|A cherry tomato variety known for its exceptional sweetness. It produces an abundance of small fruits in clusters.
|A reliable and productive tomato variety that produces medium-sized fruits with a balanced flavor.
|A Greek tomato variety is known for its exceptional sweetness and vibrant red color. It is often used in salads or eaten fresh.
|Salads, fresh eating
|A large beefsteak tomato variety with juicy flesh and a rich flavor. It is excellent for slicing or grilling.
|A golden-orange tomato variety with a mild yet sweet flavor. It is often used in salads or sliced for sandwiches.
|Japanese Black Trifele
|A small pear-shaped tomato variety with a rich flavor and dark coloration. It is often used in salads or for making sauces.
|Lycopersicum esculentum Mill. var. España
|A Spanish tomato variety with various shapes and sizes. It is commonly used in traditional Spanish dishes such as gazpacho or paella.
|A German tomato variety is known for its excellent taste and large size. It has a balanced flavor that is great for various culinary uses.
|Salads, sandwiches, sauces
List of types of tomatoes with pictures and information fact
The cherry tomato is a small round tomato that is believed to be a genetic combination of wild currant-type tomatoes and domesticated garden tomatoes.
It ranges in size from a thumb tip to the size of a golf ball and can have a spherical or slightly elliptical shape. While red is the most common color, cherry tomatoes can also be orange, yellow, green, purple, or black.
When they have an oblong shape, they are called grape tomatoes and share characteristics with plum tomatoes. Botanically, the cherry tomato is considered a variety of cultivated berries known as Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme.
The Roma tomato, also known as the Italian or Italian plum tomato, is a slender and firm plum tomato commonly used for canning and making tomato paste. It is grown in the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Great Britain.
The most common variant is the “Roma VF,” developed in the 1950s to resist fusarium wilt. Most Roma tomatoes are now also resistant to verticillium and fusarium wilt.
Commercially sold plum tomatoes in the Western Hemisphere are often Romas or similar types. More petite plum tomatoes are sometimes called “baby Romas,” and there is a smaller variety called “Windowbox Roma” that is suitable for window gardens and hanging containers.
Roma tomatoes are egg- or pear-shaped, red when ripe, and have few seeds. They are ideal for canning and making sauce.
The plants grow to about 1 meter in height, and the fruit weighs about 60 grams. Roma tomatoes are favored by gardeners who do a lot of home canning due to their heavy fruit production.
San Marzano Tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes are plum tomatoes from Italy’s Campania region, prized for canning due to their flavor and quality. They have a protected designation of origin. These tomatoes are longer, thinner, and less acidic than Roma tomatoes, with thicker flesh and fewer seeds. They grow on indeterminate vines, are suitable for warm climates, and can be easily seed-saved as an open-pollinated heirloom variety.
Commercially, San Marzano tomatoes were influential in the 20th-century canning industry and are still primarily grown in Italy, with genuine products labeled with the E.U.’s “DOP” emblem. However, due to their premium status, counterfeit products are standard. These tomatoes are also one of two varieties sanctioned for authentic Neapolitan pizza.
They originated from San Marzano sul Sarno near Naples, first grown in volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius, supposedly introduced to the region in 1770. In the U.S., they are genetic predecessors to the Roma tomato, created by crossing a San Marzano with other varieties, introduced in 1955.
The “Better Boy” tomato is a hybrid developed by crossing the Teddy Jones heirloom tomato with an undisclosed red tomato variety, a project spearheaded by the horticulturist John Peto.
This Variety produces fruit on an indeterminate vine weighing up to 12 ounces each. On average, Better Boy tomatoes reach maturity in about 72 days and can grow to 5 feet.
These tomatoes are notably resistant to verticillium and fusarium wilts, making them a robust choice for gardeners. Given their high yield, it is advisable to provide substantial stakes for the Better Boy tomato plants to ensure proper support throughout their growth in the garden.
The Cherokee Purple is an heirloom tomato variety known for its dusky-rose color, with a green tinge near the stem and a rich crimson interior.
It was one of the earliest “black” tomato types and became available through Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in 1993. These beefsteak tomatoes are dense and juicy with a unique seed pattern.
In 1995, the Cherokee Chocolate mutation emerged in Craig LeHoullier’s garden, distinguished by its brownish hue due to its yellow skin. The Cherokee Green variant appeared in 1997, maintaining a green flesh when ripe.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are best enjoyed in the summer and fall and are perfect for fresh dishes like BLT sandwiches, salads, and pizza and pasta sauces.
Campari tomatoes are a hybrid variety known for their sweetness, juiciness, and low acidity. Larger than cherry tomatoes but smaller than plums, they’re deep red and often sold on the vine. The standard Variety is Mountain Magic, and they’re notably expensive as seeds run about $150,000 per pound.
Mastronardi Produce trademarked “Campari” for their tomatoes in 2003 but faced a legal challenge in 2006 because of claims that the term referred to a variety developed in the 1990s by Enza Zaden.
Typically globe-shaped with regular leaves, a Campari plant reaches 6–8 feet tall and matures within 70–80 days, showing resistance to tobacco mosaic virus.
The Early Girl tomato is popular for home gardeners due to its early ripening fruit. It is a medium-sized globe-type F1 hybrid with indeterminate growth, producing flowers and fruit until it is killed by frost or another external factor.
Unlike determinate cultivars with a limited shape and having one large harvest before dying off, the Early Girl tomato grows tall and requires support as it develops.
It typically matures 50 to 62 days after transplanting, making it appealing for growers in shorter growing seasons. Additionally, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F and thrives in hot, dry climates.
The ripe fruit is about the size and shape of a tennis ball, weighing 4 to 8, and has a bright color and delicious flavor.
Blue tomatoes, also known as purple tomatoes, are a unique variety genetically cultivated to contain high concentrations of anthocyanins—pigments that give blueberries, blackberries, and chokeberries their characteristic hues.
These pigments offer the plants increased resistance to pests, diseases, and harmful ultraviolet rays. These distinctive tomatoes have hit the market under “Indigo Rose” and “SunBlack.”
The Mortgage Lifter is a tomato cultivar, with William Estler of Barboursville, West Virginia, credited for developing it in 1922 and registering its name in 1932.
However, M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles from Logan, West Virginia, often receives credit for creating it in the early 1930s, leading to confusion as both breeds are distinct.
Known for its large size and sweet taste, the Mortgage Lifter is part of a series of similarly named tomatoes from the Great Depression aimed at helping farmers and nurseries recover financially.
The Celebrity tomato hybrid produces many plump, robust tomatoes on long stems. The fruit weighs about 8 oz and is 4 inches across. These plants need support and produce fruit all season.
Celebrity tomatoes are resistant to diseases and can grow in different environments. They don’t crack easily and can survive uneven rainfall. However, they are sensitive to cold and short-growing seasons.
The plants can grow up to 5 feet tall and have bright red, medium-sized fruits. The tomatoes are commonly used in salsas, salads, juices, and canned food.
Kumato is a patented tomato developed in Spain, also known as Olmeca. It weighs between 80 and 120 grams and comes in various colors, from green to reddish brown or purple.
The flavor can range from no taste to sweeter than regular tomatoes due to higher fructose content. Kumato is a hybrid, so seeds may not grow identical plants.
Selected growers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Mexico, Lebanon, and the U.K. produce it.
The seeds are unavailable to the public and are only sold to licensed growers by Syngenta, the patent holder. Growers must follow specific protocols and pay fees for licenses, seeds, and royalties based on tomato volume.
The Black Krim, alternatively known as Black Crimea or Noire de Crimée, is a heritage tomato with its roots in Crimea.
This open-pollinated, indeterminate plant produces unique fruits that weigh around 8 ounces and have a distinctive flattened globe shape.
The tomatoes are notable for their deep reddish-purple to almost black coloration, complemented by greenish-brown shoulders.
It is the pioneer “black” tomato introduced to the commercial market in the United States in 1990.
Green Zebra is a tomato known for its green and yellow stripes, with newer types turning reddish when ripe. It has a unique tart flavor and matures early. The cultivar was developed by Tom Wagner and introduced in 1983.
While traditionally unripe tomatoes are green, Wagner’s creation is meant to be eaten at this stage. The classification of Green Zebra as an heirloom tomato is debated.
Tigerella tomatoes are a distinct, bi-colored variety that ripens early at 59 days, with each fruit weighing between 2 to 4 ounces (60-120 g).
Mature Tigerellas are red with yellow stripes, offering a visual twist similar to the Green Zebra, but with red replacing green and a sweeter taste.
The color can vary by location; for example, Tigerellas in New Zealand may appear dark crimson with dark green stripes.
In the U.K., heirloom Tigerella seeds are available, producing small, plum, or cherry-sized tomatoes. Meanwhile, a hybrid Tigerella, known to have larger beefsteak-type tomatoes, exists in the USA.
This hybrid’s culinary performance is debated among food bloggers, with experiences ranging from large, firm, and flavorful fruits to disappointing soft ones predominated by gel and seeds.
Mr. Stripey is a unique heirloom tomato variety, easily mistaken for Tigerella due to its small leaves and striking red-and-yellow-striped skin.
Unlike the smaller, less distinctly colored Tigerella, Mr. Stripey boasts a sweet, low-acid flavor and can grow large enough to be categorized as a beefsteak-type tomato.
Its appearance is particularly notable—predominantly yellow near the stem and redder at the bottom, with a blend of stripes along the sides that often permeates into the tomato’s interior.
When fully ripe, Mr. Stripey offers a delectably sweet and mild taste that outshines most commercial tomatoes, making it an excellent choice for fresh consumption in salads or as a complement to dishes that can meld with various flavors.
The Brandywine is a prized heirloom tomato variety revered for its large, potato-leaf foliage and hefty pink beefsteak fruits, often weighing up to 1.5 lbs.
Many regard its rich, well-balanced flavor as one of the finest tomatoes. Despite the long maturation period of 80 to 100 days and modest yields, its culinary quality keeps it in high demand.
The Brandywine’s lineage is somewhat mysterious, with some reports tracing it back to an 1886 Burpee Seed catalog. Although commonly associated with Amish heritage, no concrete evidence confirms this claim.
The Hillbilly Tomato, or Solanum lycopersicum, is a prized heirloom variety hailing from 1800s West Virginia. Its unique potato-leaf variant is known as the Hillbilly Potato Leaf.
These beefsteak tomatoes are hefty, averaging 1-2 pounds, with a distinctive round, ribbed appearance. Their skin and flesh boast an orange-yellow hue with red marbling. They have a low acidity and are renowned for their “sweet and fruity” taste.
Thriving at heights between 52-84 inches, the Hillbilly tomato matures in 85-94 days. It’s a robust, low-maintenance plant that flourishes post-frost in full sun, requiring at least six hours of sunlight.
While drought-resistant, consistent watering and mulching benefit its growth. Despite its hardiness, it’s not immune to pests and diseases, which can be managed through strategic crop rotation.
The Big Rainbow heirloom tomato stands out among many large, yellow-fruited varieties with its distinctive red marbling. These tomatoes are known for their gentle and sweet taste. The Hillbilly tomato is a similar variety, sharing the same appealing coloration.
Cultivation of the Big Rainbow tomatoes is ideally timed for the final stretch of summer.
The Big Rainbow tomato debuted in the gardening world thanks to Dorothy Beiswenger from Crookston, who introduced it to the Seed Savers Exchange in 1983, located in Minnesota. It made its commercial entrance in 1990.
The Big Rainbow tomato requires warm growing conditions and does not tolerate cold.
Lycopersicon esculentum ‘Gardener’s Delight‘ is a popular heritage tomato variety in the U.K. Historically, it has been highly regarded and is a popular choice for many U.K. gardeners.
According to Hannah Reid, a gardener and content creator, there is an excellent variety of opportunities for growing outdoors in the U.K., even in the northern regions.
‘Gardener’s Delight’ was first introduced to British gardeners by breeders and seed producers Benary over thirty-five years ago. Since its introduction, it has gained favor among horticultural experts and home growers alike.
The Raf tomato, originating from Spain, is a strain of Solanum lycopersicum developed through selective breeding of traditional outdoor tomatoes since 1961.
Notable for its flavor, texture, and tolerance to saline water, the Marmande variety is particularly distinguished. Its name, Raf, signifies its resistance to the Fusarium oxysporum lycopersici fungus, contributing to its popularity in greenhouse cultivation.
Unlike hybrid tomatoes, Raf tomatoes are products of selecting and breeding traditional tomato strains. The most significant areas of Raf tomato production in Spain are in and around Cabo de Gata and Nijar, located within the province of Almeria, which is also home to the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park.
Super Sweet 100
The Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato, a hybrid variety, boasts extensive fruit-bearing vines capable of yielding over 100 lovely cherry tomatoes.
Each fruit is roughly 1 ounce in weight and measures about 1 inch in diameter. These plants require either caging or staking to support their growth and ensure a bountiful harvest all season.
The ‘Moneymaker‘ tomato is a popular salad variety known for its round shape, vibrant red color, and delicious flavor. It’s easy to grow and produces a high yield, living up to its prosperous name.
Garnering significant commercial success globally, its origins are debated—some believe it’s from the U.S., with records dating back to 1894, while others suggest it first sprouted in Bristol, UK in 1910.
Regardless of its roots, ‘Moneymaker’ hybrids have thrived for decades. They’re low-maintenance, simple to cultivate, and boast a rich taste. No wonder ‘Moneymaker’ is frequently chosen as the benchmark tomato in horticultural studies.
The Santorini tomato, also known as ‘tomataki Santorinis,’ is a distinctive cherry tomato cultivar from Santorini, Greece.
These tomatoes are characterized by their vibrant red hue and robust texture, with dense and not overly juicy flesh containing many seeds.
They are renowned for their high carbohydrate content and offer a sweet yet intensely tart flavor profile. The tomatoes have a unique round but slightly squashed appearance and tip the scales at 15 to 27 grams each.
Their signature fluted detail is most pronounced on the ones that grow lower on the vine. Typically, these tomatoes reach maturity and are ready to harvest within 80 to 90 days.
Big Beef Tomatoes
Big Beef tomatoes are robust and outsize many of their counterparts, typically 12 to 16 ounces. However, an early harvest can yield slightly smaller fruits, about 10 to 12 ounces each.
These tomatoes are celebrated for their divine taste and their beginner-friendly cultivation.
Introduced as an All-America Selection in 1943, the Jubilee variety offers substantial tomatoes characterized by their hefty, robust interiors and a pleasantly mild taste.
These tomatoes, shaped like globes and boasting a vibrant golden-orange hue, resemble the Sunray variety. They feature substantial, fleshy walls with a sparse evaluable in seeds.
This Variety is notably high-yielding, and its indeterminate vines flourish with sturdy support from staking or caging.
Originating from Russia, the Trifele tomato varieties, which come in multiple hues, are highly coveted and fetch premium prices.
This Variety, characterized by its short potato-leaf plants, is a prolific producer. It offers a bountiful crop of 6-ounce fruits resembling the elegant shape of a mahogany-colored Bartlett pear topped with a hint of green at the shoulders.
The flesh is delicious and dense, surrounding a meaty core yielding succulent tomatoes throughout the summer. When sliced, these tomatoes present a stunning display on any plate and a vibrant and complex flavor profile.
The Black Trifele stands out as one of the darkest types available, and it boasts a resistance to cracking, ensuring a beautiful and reliable harvest.
The “Tomate Margariteño” is known by its botanical name, Lycopersicum esculentum Mill. Var. Spain is a tomato variety cultivated on Margarita Island, affectionately nicknamed “The Pearl of the Caribbean.” Margarita Island, along with Coche and Cubagua islands, makes up the sole insular territory of Venezuela, a country in northeastern South America.
Cultural beliefs on the island suggest that the Tomate Margariteño first emerged in the early 19th century. However, the precise details of its origin and date remain elusive, with several theories published.
The significance of the Tomate Margariteño stems from its exclusive organoleptic characteristics and pleasant, distinctive taste, size, unique kidney shape, and weight, which are only achieved when grown on Margarita Island.
The Tomate Margariteño is also highly treasured in Venezuelan cuisine, particularly in the insular region and surrounding areas. It is a symbolic icon of the region’s cultural and gastronomic heritage.
A German seed catalog mentioned Variety originating from Germany as early as 1913. A cross between “Danish Export” and “Jewell.”
Produces red fruit weighing 60 to 100 grams, round, 3 to 4 cm in diameter, and slightly flattened at the poles—clusters of about ten fruits.
Outstanding flavor, slightly acidic and juicy.
Plant with regular foliage and indeterminate growth.
Abundant production, early in the season at around 70 days.
Discover the colorful world of tomatoes at Farm to Palms! With a wide variety of tomatoes, from the sweet and juicy Campari to the rich and flavorful Cherokee Purple, you can elevate your culinary creations and enjoy the health benefits of these nutritious fruits.
Come to Farm to Palms supermarket or order through our app store to get the freshest and finest imported tomatoes with clear origins. We are committed to providing you with the best quality tomatoes to help you create the most delicious dishes.