• 241


Know Your Tomatoes: A Guide to the Top 9

Here's how to ‘pick' the right tomato every time
Guide to Types of Tomatoes
Photo: Tasting Table

"There's a perfect moment for a tomato, and then it's gone," says Tim Stark, author of Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer.

Before that happens, let's celebrate the beauty and colorful variety of our favorite nightshade.

RELATED   How to Make an Heirloom Tomato Galette »

Green Zebra
Popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame. Seductive emerald skin with yellow zebra stripes. Higher in acidity than most tomatoes, this nightshade benefits by being paired with sweet items such as chard or corn to balance the fruit's acidity.

Sun Gold
These small guys are the sweetest of the bunch. Grown in gem-like, long clusters and prized among chefs for their slight citrusy acidity and a lingering sweetness. Halve and toss in salads or just pop in your mouth for a quick snack. 


When the #sungold starts to hit, you just gotta take it. #snowfarmvt

A photo posted by Snow Farm (@snowfarmvermont) on

Indigo Rose
Small, purple-hued, with a near perfect balance of acidity and sugar. One of the few tomatoes with American roots as they were bred at Oregon State University to check levels of antioxidants.


� Indigo Rose. Aptly named; changing from black and green to it's namesake colors when ripe �

A photo posted by Deanna T. (@deannacat3) on

Cuore de Toro
An excellent Italian heirloom named for the shape of an ox's heart. Very little acidity and low water content make it very sweet and perfect in any shape or form; raw in a salad or cooked down to sauce. Our favorite.

Bred for sauces and paste. The most famous variety are the storied Italian San Marzano variety which have a thinner skin and more pointed bottom.


Colors of summer #tomatoes #plumtomatoes

A photo posted by RH Farms LLC (@rhfarms_) on

Garden Peach
Named for its light fuzzy exterior. Mild fruity flavor. Eat them raw with a pinch of crunchy salt or in a salad with arugula and sharp red wine vinegar


These are so delicate & fuzzy #gardenpeach #photoshoot #farmerobession #yellow #slightlypink #certifiedorganic #heirloomtomatoes

A photo posted by quarter acre farm (@quarterafarm) on

Solar Flare
Captivatingly fire-striped and super juicy. Crack free and pristine, they should be present just as they are.

Full-flavored, easy to find in grocery stores year round. But summer's when these super sweet tomatoes are the best. Cut them in half and make a tomato cucumber salad or roast them slowly in the oven.

Beefsteak variety. Perfect sweet and acidic balance. Grown in a variety of colors, it’s full-flavor and floral quality make it the perfect complement for a BLT.


Hehehe� #brandywine #unionsquare #farmersmarket #tomato Yup. ��

A photo posted by littlewinglk (@littlewinglk) on

This article was originally published on 8/29/14, and was updated with additional photography by Delia Mooney on 8/26/16.


Summer Gazpacho Riffs

Keep Reading
RELATED How to Choose a Ripe Tomato
RELATED Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere