What Makes Italian Ice Tomatoes Unique

When it comes to Italian cuisine, tomatoes are a necessity. According to Eataly, the European country boasts hundreds of varieties that range from Roma tomatoes to Sicilian Pachino tomatoes to San Marzano tomatoes. Pizza enthusiasts probably know the latter iteration the best; San Marzanos are a beloved ingredient in Neapolitan-style pizza, which boasts a thin dough, fresh ingredients, and a delicious — but simple — sauce.

Indeed, there are all kinds of tomatoes, each guaranteed to spruce up any dish with its own savory-sweet flavor. Even within the canned tomato category, plenty of variation remains. You can pick up a jar of whole peeled tomatoes or an already-crushed version. They're similar in taste, but not quite the same, leaving lots of options to experiment with.

Clearly, there's no one standard for tomatoes, and while the fruit is widely known for red sauces like marinara or tomato, it isn't bound to any one color or flavor. Italian ice tomatoes are one unique version. They tend to be ultra-sweet and a muted yellow hue, standing out from their common red counterparts.

Italian ice tomatoes are colorful, flavorful, and sweet

Italian ices have long been a hallmark of Italian-American cuisine — but Italian ice tomatoes are another thing entirely. Per Urban Farmer, Italian ice tomatoes stand out for their small size and light yellow, almost white shade. Yet while their color distinguishes them, these tomatoes are not dissimilar in size or shape from cherry tomatoes. Although they look tiny, ice tomatoes pack a ton of flavor.

Italian ice tomatoes may be named for Italy, but they are actually believed to have originated in Mexico (per Specialty Produce). Each tomato amounts to roughly an inch in diameter and is ready to consume once it turns its signature yellow-white shade. Summer and fall are when Italian ice tomatoes are at their best, so look for ripe ones in the warmer months. 

Just like fresh red tomatoes, Italian ice tomatoes can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. Pop a few fresh in your mouth for a sweet treat, or chop some up for salads, pastas, or pizza toppings. They may very well become your go-to tomato.