Test Kitchen Tips
Are You Using the Right Type of Tomato for Your Recipe?
Do heirloom tomatoes taste better? Which variety has the most acid? What's best type of tomato for canning? We're answering all these questions–and more–in our tomato guide!
Taste of Home
Whether you say ‘to-MAY-to’ or ‘to-MAH-to,’ they’re delicious! Especially at their peak, fresh tomatoes are good with pretty much everything.
But are you using the right tomato for your recipe? If you’ve ever experienced a much-too-juicy tomato on your burger, or a marinara sauce that doesn’t taste quite right, we’re here to clear things up.
Best for: sandwiches
Named because of their large size and meaty texture, these should be your go-to for your favorite summer subs or a classic burger. Not only because they slice easily, whether you like them thin or thick, without getting juice everywhere, but they won’t fall apart. Wins all around!
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Best for: salads and baked goods
Looking for something more colorful than your usual red tomato? These modern hybrids can easily be shared among your green-thumbed friends. Not all look or taste the same, so you’ll find a wide range of sizes, colors and flavors. To keep things simple, toss them together for a salad, or top your savory tart with heirlooms for a colorful twist.
Best for: appetizers, sides and salads
While these tomatoes aren’t necessarily shaped like cherries, they’re just as sweet! Just because they are on the smaller size doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot. Cherry tomatoes are especially popular for appetizers because they can easily be stuffed with soft cheeses and herbs, or served as a simple side dish.
Best for: sauces
A variation on the domestic plum tomato, these come out of the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. Their sweet flavor and low acidity means they’re perfect for fresh or canned sauce. They’re definitely worth the splurge if you’re making spaghetti sauce from scratch!
Best for: soups and canning
Primarily known as Roma tomatoes, you might also see these oblong tomatoes labeled as Plum tomatoes. Big on sweetness, but also acidity, they have a lower moisture and water content than most other tomatoes, so they work well when canned (check out these 11 recipes), thrown on the grill or used in a fresh tomato soup.
Best for: appetizers and salads
It shouldn’t be a surprise that these guys are named because they’re the size of a grape. They are uniform in size and sweetness, and work wonderfully in any mini lunch or appetizer, like a kebab with lunch meats and cheese or in a simple salad with feta. Or just pop ’em in your mouth for a sweet and juicy snack!