The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Tomatoes
With innumerable varieties in addition to a range of delectable flavor profiles, it is not in doubt that tomatoes are the ideal ingredient to just about any meal. Tomatoes are tremendously versatile and can be used for a plethora of dishes regardless of whether you are roasting, grilling, or sautéing; they can even be consumed alone as a healthy snack.
From the smallest cherry tomato to a meaty Beefsteak, the presence of these powerful antioxidants in any dish will bring the much-desired burst of flavor. When exposed to the best tomato varieties, you will surely wonder what makes one different from the other. This ultimate guide will aid you in finding the ideal tomato for any future dish you wish to prepare as well as answer the question of how many types of tomatoes are there.
Roma tomatoes are perfect for tomato pesto or bruschetta; these two dishes bring out the best in them. However, the secret is to first roast both dishes in the oven to bring out the natural flavor. This type of tomato is the very core Italian tomatoes. You can use it for sauces, stews, as well as tomato paste; they are quite cheap and readily available and are perfect for people on the lookout for intense flavor. In addition to being so inviting to the human eye, this antioxidant powerhouse comes with a whole lot of benefits; they are good for the body and supply vital vitamins and minerals like; potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and many more. They also supply the body with lycopene – that antioxidant which has been connected to numerous health benefits which include reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and many more. For people who are conscious of their intake of calories, a Roman tomato of medium size only carries 22 calories in total, which makes it the ideal diet for people that are watching their weight.
San Marzano Tomatoes
In the same way that Roma Tomatoes are ideal for bruschetta, San Marzano Tomatoes are just your perfect bet for pizza. That delicious smooth red experience that is linked to pizza comes from this type of tomatoes. However, San Marzano Tomatoes has more to offer us than the mouth-watering pizza sauce. This type of tomatoes are popular in some particular region in Italy; hence the name Denominazione di Origine Protetta abbreviated to D. O. P. So watch out for any San Marzano Tomato that is devoid of this sticker as they may be fake. Another way to know the real D.O.P is that they can only come in cans, peeled and cut into two. You can hardly find them diced, pureed, chopped, or organic.
As indicated by the name, cherry tomatoes come in smaller sizes relative to other varieties, though the taste is quite yummy. In fact, they belong to types of small tomatoes and are ideal for your salad, packed lunch and many more. These juicy tomatoes are suffused with nutrients, and you can happily consume as much as you want without entertaining any fear of extra calories.
Cherry tomatoes are also ideal for chicken skewers (with peppers and onions), thanks to their lesser size. And when it comes to the Sicilian recipe, cherry tomatoes occupy pride of place alongside fresh basil. However, since this type of tomatoes only booms during the summer and most of its recipes will be realized as cold dishes as opposed to hot.
Though the Santorini tomatoes sound Italian, they are actually of Greek origin. These veggies are closely linked to the cherry tomatoes; they come with very sweet and powerful flavor and are majorly used for preparing ‘Pelte’ – also known as tomato paste. In the locality of Santorini, residents consume these veggies in diverse ways which include; fried, sun-dried, as well as fresh. However, this type of tomato is not readily accessible in the U S, compared to other varieties.
This next breed of tomatoes further begs the question of ‘is tomato a fruit?’. Although tomatoes are theoretically regarded as fruits, there are still some people who see the red yummy antioxidant powerhouse as vegetables, and consequently, sweetness is never the kind of taste to associate tomatoes with. This is exactly where this type of tomato shines. The Campari tomatoes are regarded worldwide as the sweetest as well as the most flavorsome variety of tomatoes. The color comes in deep red, thanks to the fact that the fruits ripen on the vine after they are cultivated hydroponically. One benefit of the Campari tomatoes is that pesticides are not necessary during the cultivation. These fruits/veggies are best served with salad, or as part of salsa which brings out the extra sweetness.
The discovery of Camone tomatoes came by accident. Originally, the seeds were anticipated to grow high-yielding plants that will have some form of resistance to pests. Some Sardinian tomato farmers who made an attempt to cultivate the Camone with sparse water on the Pula were disappointed when the seeds did not germinate during the summer. However, the surprise was on them when the seeds sprout into life in the winter, but with a very slow growth rate. Thanks to the region’s salty water, the resultant tomato fruits came with quite a unique taste, coupled with green-colored streaks on its cusp and a feel which can be best described as crunchy. The fruits are ideal for alfresco.
Cuore di Bue
When it comes to size, Cuore di Bue is one of the biggest varieties of tomatoes you can expect to see worldwide. The name means ‘Ox Heart’ in Italian and the veggies come with quite an extraordinary shape, with the bottom appearing like a bulging bag – each of the fruit weighing at least ½ pound. Use them as the main ingredient in your yummy salad, or as the ideal partner in your mozzarella cheese. The taste comes somewhat spicy, but the Cuore di Bue does not have as much popularity with tomato farmers like others, thanks to their extra-large size which bring quite a challenge to the mechanization.
The name is obviously Italian, and this baby plum veggies is a little sweet and equips any chef worth his onions with a plethora of options to delight as well as excite our taste buds. You can use them in your main dish, or with pizza, and focaccia. Alternatively, they can also be used in antipasti and authentic tomato bases. These veggies are quite common and usually come in cans; what’s more, they are quite cheap but delicious and their striking red color has the capacity to brighten the look of your salad dish and ensures that the Datterino stands out in any crowd.
Thanks to its huge size, the Di Belmonte is often called Il Gigante (the Giant). Their plant can grow as high as three meters, with each fruit weighing from 700 to 10000 grams. Distinct from all other varieties, this type of tomato never ripens into the usual red color associated with their kind; rather, they only remain intensely pink. The ripening process for this tomato starts from the inside to the outside, and it is the perfect addition to your salad. It is also good for seasoning your pasta and you can still sundry them and store submerged in oil.
The name for this variety of tomatoes come from Manduria – a little village in the region of Apulia, where the veggies originated. This type of tomato is popular for its excess juice and comes with a pointed bottom. Thus, they are ideal for creating sauces, juicing, as well as consuming fresh and raw. They can also be used in oil and the cultivation period is from March when the seeds are sown until June and September when they will be ready for harvesting.
Pomodoro Vesuviano or Piennolo
The origin of this variety of tomatoes is Naples, Italy. They are a small grape-like tomato, that are quite tasty and make an ideal addition to your tomato sauce and pasta. They are usually cultivated in the Southern Campania near Mount Vesuvius where the oldest variety of tomatoes cultivated. Naturally, the fruit is shaped like a pear with fresh flesh and thick skin. Many of the inhabitants love to preserve them by sun-drying for one month and storing them in a jar after they are cut into tiny pieces.
The talk about best tomatoes for eating cannot be concluded without including the Pachino tomatoes. This tomato has a total of three distinct varieties, including the likes of cherry tomatoes (most popular), the ribbed version, as well as the smooth and rounded type. The best way to prepare it is to cook in a pan, seasoned with some oil, chili, garlic, pepper, and any other seasoning that takes your fancy. You can then serve the sauce with any pasta of your choice.
To get the best out of your tomatoes, be sure to select the freshest to enjoy the yummy and delicious taste. As for the plethora of varieties, never fear to add more adventure to your cuisine. Besides, a good part of the fun is that you get to experience diverse recipes – this includes the discovery of novel combinations and tastes. You never can tell which will be your favorite till you give it a trial.