The best tomato varieties for flavor

Written by lee morgan
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The best tomato varieties for flavor
Which tomato tastes best is up to the individual. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

While all tomatoes have some similar characteristics, each variety has its own specific flavour that a tomato aficionado can distinguish from others. Figuring out which has the best flavour is a subjective matter that only a taste test can solve for each person. But there are tomatoes that are generally more favoured for their flavour than others.

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Slicing Tomato

In the realm of slicing tomatoes the First Light tomato is generally regarded as one of the best-flavoured varieties, according to the Portland Nursery website on slicing tomatoes. These flavourful intermediates grow to around 142 to 198gr in size, and are bright red. It is recommended that they be picked while the top of the tomato still has some green shading on it for best flavour. The crisp texture and distinct tomato flavour make it a good choice. Slicing tomatoes are usually the best tomatoes for placing on sandwiches and are often eaten alone or with a bit of salt.

Cherry Tomato

Cherry tomatoes are small, round tomatoes that are often used in salads or eaten as snacks by themselves. These types of tomatoes are usually judged on their sugar content. A cherry tomato with high sugar content and relatively low acidity tends to make the best-tasting varieties. Based on these criteria, the Sun Gold variety of cherry tomatoes are the best-tasting examples of the fruit. Sun Gold tomatoes have one of the lowest acidity ratings, while having a higher-than-average sugar content. That results in a sweeter tomato, which is generally what is desired in salads or as stand-alone snacks. With an internal pH of 4.5, the Sun Gold has the lowest acid content of all the cherry tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom tomatoes are a specialised segment of the tomato world. These varieties are required to have seeds passed down from prior generations to duplicate the favourite varieties of the past. Heirlooms can be any type of tomato, but some of these varieties tend to have superior taste to others consistently. The Tomato Mania festival in California is an event that celebrates the heirloom tomato each year, and tomato lovers from around the country show up to taste and purchase their heirloom favourites. Year after year the "black" varieties of heirlooms fare well in the taste tests. Judging by the year after year results, the Black Plumb and Carbon heirloom tomatoes have the best flavour.

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