There’s no denying that tomatoes are a staple ingredient in many different cuisines, thanks to their numerous varieties and diverse flavors. Tomatoes are incredibly adaptable and can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or eaten raw as a nutritious snack. Adding these antioxidant powerhouses to your meal, whether it’s a hearty stew or a homemade pasta sauce, can give a much-needed blast of flavor.

With thousands of different tomato varieties to pick from, you might be thinking, “What’s the difference?” Fortunately, we’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you pick the perfect tomato for your next dish!

Cherry

Cherry tomatoes are one of the most versatile tomatoes available, and are a popular favorite all over the world. These tomatoes are small in size and have a sweet, candy-like, juice, crispy bite. They come in red, orange, yellow, and purple types, are a staple in the kitchen, giving a splash of color and flavor to any dish. Cherry tomatoes are sweet and tangy and can be roasted, grilled, sauced, dried, and even eaten raw if you’d like.

Roma

Roma tomatoes are a plum variety and are rich in flavor, tangy, and have a garden-fresh tomato flavor. This tomato is perfect for a tasty stew, sauce, or tomato paste. Try roasting Roma tomatoes in the oven and using them to make a spicy tomato pesto or bruschetta topping. It’s the perfect tomato to try something new with because it has so many uses and an incredible flavor.

Grape

Grape tomatoes are crisp and crunchy and come in a variety of colors ranging from sweet to acidic. Grape tomatoes retain their meaty texture when cooked because of their thicker skin, making them a terrific accompaniment to the main dinner dish—whether you’re roasting them in the oven, throwing them into pasta, or serving them as a colorful side. These tomatoes are also fantastic for snacking on raw.

Heirloom

Heirloom tomatoes are rich in flavor and come in a variety of sizes and hues, making them one of the best tomatoes for leveling up your recipes.  These tomatoes go well in sandwiches and salads, and they’re also good grilled or roasted as a side dish. They’re also delicious raw with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whether you prefer sweet or acidic tomatoes, heirlooms are a versatile option.

Red Beefsteak

This variety is known as the salsa tomato, as well as the king of tomatoes. Red Beefsteak tomatoes are huge, meaty, and juicy, making them an excellent choice for fresh sauces and dips. The mild flavor of red beefsteaks makes them a great addition to any dish without being overbearing. They also pair nicely with your classic veggie burger.

Campari

Campari tomatoes are also referred to as tomatoes from the vine. They are smaller in size, and have a low acidity level. They are juicy and sweet in flavor. Not only do these pair well with a dish like bruschetta, but they can also be roasted, made into salsa, or snacked on all by themselves.

Yellow

Yellow tomatoes have been bred to be yellow, compared to the traditional red variety. They are also less acidic than their red cousins. This variety comes in an array of sizes, shapes, and flavors. They range from tiny and sweet in flavor, which are perfect for throwing into salads or snacking on, to big beefsteak tomatoes that will compliment pasta sauces.

Pear

Pear tomatoes, also called teardrop tomatoes, are a little smaller than cherry tomatoes and have the shape of tiny pears. They come in yellow, orange, and red varieties of this tomato, but the yellow variety is most popular. They have low acidity and a mild, sweet flavor, making them best for salads and snacking.

Different varieties of tomatoes

Source: The Gardening Channel With James Prigioni/Youtube

James Prigioni shares 11 different varieties of tomatoes that he is growing and what they’re best used for. From chocolate sprinkles, to Sun gold cherry, and Soldacki, there are thousands of different varieties to choose from. Therefore, having a good background tomato knowledge can be useful, especially if you’re considering growing your own tomatoes at home in a garden and don’t know where to start.

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