There are different Tomato varieties everywhere. Tomatoes is generally a fruit with a scientific name of Solanum Lycopersicum, most of the time it is used as a vegetable as an ingredient when cooking. Since there are different type of tomatoes, in this article we have rounded up and divided the popular types of tomatoes into 7 types. Read on this article to know more.
Different Types Of Tomatoes
What is a Tomato plant?
Tomato plants are plants that typically produces fruit in weeks, and not months. To grow a tomato plant, the tomato seeds are planted, watered and tomato seedlings will eventually grow. When the tomatoes grows fully, matures and eventually ripens, it is now ready to be harvested. Once the tomatoes are harvested, tomato plants will eventually die.
Tomatoes comes in different colors from yellow, purple orange and usually red. Tomatoes is a healthy fruits loaded with lots of Antioxidant properties such as beta carotene and lycopene as well as Vitamin C.
Categories of Tomato varieties
Determinate Tomatoes Varieties
Growing a determinate plant means allowing the plant to grow at a fixed height. Typically, the plant will stop growing once it reaches the height that has been set usually around 3 to 4 feet. Establishing a predetermined height is used so that it would be easier for to do mass harvest of the tomatoes.
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Other than that, determinate tomatoes plant will have buds (instead of leaves) mostly found on each of the branches end.
Indeterminate Tomatoes Varieties
While determinate varieties grows in bushes, indeterminate tomatoes grows on vines. With that, these type pf plant should be supported by a stalk and for some grows inside a tomato cage. These type of tomato plant usually have large crops and the growing period tends to be longer too.
Indeterminate tomato plants can grow as high as 10 feet, especially when properly supported by a stalk.
Listed below are the 7 basic types of tomatoes categorized by its size and shape. Each tomato cultivars type will be discussed further
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Grape Tomatoes
- Roma Tomatoes
- Beefsteak Tomatoes
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Tomatoes on the Vine
- Green Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are small bite sized tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are so juicy that it tends to pop its juice even with just pressing using a light pressure.
The size of each cherry tomato is usually just below 2.5 inches, but then can grow up to the size of similar to currant tomatoes the size of a golf ball. Cherry tomato comes in different colors from red, yellow, purple to orange. Cherry tomato also comes in different shape, some are spherical to oblong shaped (just like that of grape tomatoes) and there are others that are pear-shaped.
When is Cherry tomato usually used for?
Cherry Tomatoes are best used for in salad, vegetables wraps and can be used for grilling as well. Can be a great addition to your Charcuterie plates and such as hors d’oeuvres. Cherry tomatoes are also perfect to use in addition to finger foods for appetizer that can either be a part of the main course meal.
Here are some of the examples of Cherry Tomatoes:
- Sun Gold Cherry Tomato
- Green Grape Tomato
- Riesentraube Tomato
- Super Sweet 100 Tomato
- Gold Nugget Cherry Tomato
- Black Cherry Tomato
- Honeycomb Tomato
- Midnight Snack Tomato
- Napa Grape Tomato
- Shimmer Tomato
- Sunrise Bumble Bee Tomato
- Tomaccio Tomato
- Wild Currant Tomato
- Yellow Pear Tomato
- Campari Tomato
Grape Tomatoes are slightly similar and are often interchangeable with Cherry tomatoes. While cherry tomatoes are small and round, grape tomatoes on the other hand are oblong-graped shaped tomatoes that are commonly seen displayed in supermarkets and grocery store. Cherry tomatoes have thin skin while Grape tomatoes have thicker skin, that could actually help increase its shelf life.
Grape Tomatoes are rich in Vitamins A and Vitamins C. Vitamin A is needed for the bone, eye and skin while Vitamin C is needed for healing. Aside from that, tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a great antioxidant.
Grape Tomato has a rich, sweet taste making it the perfect tomato if you want to balance between sugar and acidity. They are not as juicy as cherry tomatoes too as they don’t contain much water. And just like with cherry tomatoes, grape tomato are perfect to add to your salad or can even be eaten as a single snack.
Roma Tomatoes are also known as plum tomatoes or Italian tomatoes. These are larger than cherry and grape tomatoes but not that large enough to be used to slicing tomatoes.
One Roma Tomato typically weighs about 2 ounces, therefore there are about 8 r0ma tomato in 1 lb. Also, one Roma Tomato contains about 11 calories and about 1 gram of fiber nutrient. Roma tomato can reach up to 3 feet in height when mature in comparison to other types of tomatoes such as the Heirloom tomato such as the San Marzano tomatoes that grows on plants that are long-vining.
Roma Tomato are generally sweet and juice like Cherry tomatoes making them the perfect type of tomatoes for making tomato paste and sauces. Can also be used as a great addition to your salad as well.
Beefsteak tomatoes called Beefsteak Tomato in American English and in British it is called Beef Tomato. Beefsteak tomatoes is of one the largest types of tomatoes variety, because of its size it is often referred to as Large Slicer Tomato. It is large and firm enough to hold the tomato in place when being sliced.
One Beefsteak tomato weighs about 182 grams and at least 3 inches in diameter. Beefsteak tomatoes contains 2 grams of fiber and about 33 calories each. It also contains right amount of vitamin C.
Beefsteak tomato plant typically grows on undetermined long vines. It continues to grow throughout its growing season that usually lasts about 85 days.
Beefsteak tomatoes slices are used for hamburgers and sandwiches. It is juicy with a mild and meaty texture.
There are different variations of Heirloom tomatoes that varies in size as well as its color: pale yellow to bright green, deep purplish to red color. They are non hybrid tomato but are found to taste better than that of hybrid tomatoes variety. A good thing about Heirloom tomatoes is that you can the save tomato seeds so that you can still grow more tomatoes without crossbreeding, hence the name Heirloom.
A 123 grams medium sized heirloom tomato contains 22 calories and more or less 550 mcg of beta carotene (beta carotene is converted in the body into Vitamin A or Retinol) for good vision and eyesight.
Below are some of the best Heirloom Varieties:
- Amish Paste tomatoes
- Black cherry tomatoes
- Black Krim Tomatoes
- Oxheart Pink tomatoes
- Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Tomatoes on the vine
Tomatoes on the vine is another types of tomato varieties that are typically sold while it is still attached to the vines.
When these tomatoes are still attached to its vines, its shelf life is prolonged. This is because when tomatoes are removed from its stem, there will now be a hole. When that happens, moisture air and bacteria can get through. Whereas, when the tomato is still attached to the stem, it will be sealed that can help prolong its shelf life.
Vine ripened tomatoes nutritional content for one 123 gram medium sized tomato includes 22 calories and about 3,100 mcg of Lycopene.
Green Tomatoes are a type of Heirloom variety of Tomato. There are two types of Green tomatoes: Heirloom that are green (fully ripe) and unripe one heirlooms that is not yet red.
Most of the time, unripe green tomatoes are used when cooking. They are easy to slice, but unlike other tomatoes varieties, green tomatoes have lower calories (28 calories for a single medium sized green tomatoes).
Green Tomatoes are also best use to canning and making tomato sauce. It usually has a strong flavor but slight sour. Green Tomatoes are usually used for as a relish for sandwiches.
Unripen green tomatoes are hard to digest as compared to the ripe green tomatoes, because unripe tomato have increase levels of alkaloids. Be extra careful as it can cause GI upset, make sure not to eat them raw to prevent GI upset.
Green Zebra Tomatoes
Green zebra tomatoes have a dark green and yellow stripes. Although recently, these types of tomatoes turns reddish color instead of yellow when the tomato is ripe. Other common varieties of Green Zebra Tomato includes Black Zebra, Big Zebra and Red Zebra.
A tomato that tastes tarty as compared to a regular tomato varieties.
Uses of each type:
Below is a list of uses of each types of tomato varieties:
- Snacks: Grape Tomato, Cherry and Heirloom tomatoes
- Sauces: Roma Tomato, Heirloom tomato and Tomatoes on the vine
- Skewers: Cherry Tomato
- Sandwich: Beefsteak tomatoes, Tomatoes on the vine
- Salad: Cherry and Grape tomatoes
- Canning: Roma Tomato, Heirloom tomatoes, Tomatoes on the vine and Green tomato.
- Fried: Green tomatoes