You may already be aware that tomatoes are technically a fruit. But did you know that there are thousands of different varieties of them? That’s right, all around the world tomatoes come in a number of sizes, shapes, colours and even tastes, making them an incredibly versatile resource in the kitchen.
Here in North America, there are certainly some varieties that might be more common than others. Let’s discuss some of the best ways you can use the different types of tomatoes that you might find upon your next trip to the grocery store.
1. BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES
Beefsteak tomatoes are a great variety for slicing and putting on sandwiches and burgers. They are typically quite large and juicy, weighing as much as 3-4 pounds! They pack the classic tomato flavour and can vary in colour, such as green, pink and red.
2. TOMATOES ON THE VINE
Tomatoes on the vine are one of the more versatile varieties of tomato, working perfectly diced in salads and sides, or sliced on sandwiches. As their name would tell you, tomatoes on the vine are sold stem-on, with four or five tomatoes to each vine. Although often found red in grocery stores, they can also be found in a variety of other colours, such as yellow, orange and brown.
3. ROMA TOMATOES
Roma tomatoes are great for making tomato sauce, or adding to salads and other dishes where you don’t want excess moisture. A staple of Italian cuisine, roma tomatoes tend to differentiate themselves with their elongated shape and low water and seed content.
4. CHERRY & GRAPE TOMATOES
Both cherry and grape tomatoes are perfect for eating whole as a snack throughout the day. They’re also great when you need to make a quick sauce! Cherry tomatoes are round in appearance, while grape tomatoes are elongated. Both are generally much sweeter than large tomatoes and come in hundreds of different sizes and colours.
5. HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Heirloom tomatoes are a great variety to slice and serve raw in a salad. Although these tomatoes tend to vary greatly in size, shape and colour, they are widely considered as having some of the best flavour of all tomatoes. This excellent flavour can be attributed to their higher sugar content.