The tomato plant produces one of the most popular fruits in nature. Tomatoes are used in sauces, as toppings for baked dishes, in salads and sliced on a sandwich, to name just a few uses. Tomatoes are not all created equal, however. Many different varieties of tomatoes are grown across the world and each has its own distinct characteristics—none more important than flavour. These differences make some better suited for certain purposes. This list includes four of the most popular tomato varieties.
Roma tomatoes are plum-shaped or oval tomatoes that are typically smaller than common slicing tomatoes. When picked up, the Roma tends to weigh more than expected because of its thick, dense flesh. A 2-inch long Roma can weigh up to 113gr., with some versions of this tomato reaching weights as high as 340gr. Romas are ideal for making tomato sauces and ketchup because of their dense flesh and low water content. They also tend to have fewer seeds than other varieties of tomato. The flavour of a Roma tomato is sweet, similar to a cherry tomato. It is suitable for raw snacks, salads and as a pizza topping, according to Roma-tomato.com
The Sun Gold tomato is a popular indeterminate variety of hybrid tomato, meaning that it continues to produce fruit until the weather no longer allows it. These cherry tomatoes are an especially sweet variety that work well for sun drying and ripen to a bright orange colour. Sun Gold tomatoes have a sugary sweet taste, and some describe the flavour as fruity and not tomatolike at all. The Sun Gold grows in a long vine and produces long clusters of the tiny tomatoes.
The beefsteak tomato is perhaps the most common slicing tomato there is. These large tomatoes are dark red in colour, full of juice and often weigh more than a pound. They are firm and smooth-skinned and often found sliced thick on sandwiches, or in salsa, chilli, stew and many other dishes, according to ProduceOasis.com. These tomatoes are abundant and grow all year long in warm regions such as California, Mexico and Florida.
The Brandywine tomato is a popular, pale-red tomato with a tangy taste, many varieties of which are open-pollinated heirloom tomatoes, according to the Washington State University Extension website. An heirloom tomato plant is grown from seeds that reliably produce fruits with certain desirable characteristics. Many heirloom seeds are passed down from generation to generation so that the flavour of these tomatoes can be enjoyed over long periods of time. Heirloom varieties are often descended from plants introduced prior to 1940, according to TomatoFest.com.
Brandywines are large tomatoes similar to beefsteaks that can grow up to 0.907kg. or more and are often used for slicing because of their strong flavour.