Common Tomato Varieties and Their Best Uses
Growing your own tomatoes is a great way to open up a world of tomato varieties you may not be able to find locally.
When planning what types of tomatoes to grow in your garden, you should consider what each one is good for in the kitchen.
I always suggest growing more than one type of tomato plant each year so you can have a variety of flavors in your meals all summer long.
Here are some common tomato varieties you can grow at home and what they are best used for.
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Amish paste tomato
Despite the name, Amish paste tomatoes are rather watery, making them less than ideal for making tomato paste. They are, on the other hand, one of the best tomato varieties for making tomato sauce.
This is one of the best heirloom tomatoes for making tomato sauce for pasta and other dishes. If you plan to make tomato sauce for the winter, Amish paste tomatoes are an essential addition to your garden.
When it comes to popular tomatoes sold in grocery stores and are commonly used in cooking. These are the best tomatoes for dehydrating for food storage and using for fresh cooking.
The strong flavor of Roma tomatoes and not too watery internal structure makes romas great for cooking down into tomato paste.
This is the go-to option for when you do not want extra moisture in your final product or to spend a long time trying to cook the extra liquid out.
Brandywine is perhaps the most popular option for slicing tomatoes. These are the large, plump tomatoes you find at your local supermarket.
Brandywine tomatoes are an excellent option for everything from tomato soup to tomato juice, sauce, and chopped up for salads.
These tomatoes are great for slicing for burgers and sandwiches. They are easy to grow, and you usually get a good harvest from these large tomatoes.
Cherokee Purple is best used fresh. Its deep coloration and full-bodied flavor is perfect for your favorite salads, sandwiches, or just snacking.
Dice these up for use when making pizza and pasta dishes as a topping rather than the sauce base.
Better boy is one of the better varieties of tomatoes for all-around use, Crisp, Juicy, and full of flavor with very few seeds.
When you plan to use tomatoes for cooking and preserving, these should be at the top of your list for growing. These work great for everything from salads to salsa and BLTs.
Green Zebra tomatoes are great raw. They are sweet and tangy, while their unique coloring makes them an excellent option for families looking for something a little different in their gardens this year.
If you like fried green tomatoes, these are a great option despite being green when ripe; their flavor stays just right for use in this classic dish.
Early Girl tomatoes are a great option for slicing. These tomatoes are one of the more flavorful options for the early season and can make a great addition to BLTs and sliced-in sandwiches.
To make the most of the flavor in early girl tomatoes, use them raw or with minimal cooking. If you prefer them cooked, try lightly sauteing in olive oil with a pinch of salt to serve with pasta.
Black Cherry tomatoes are packed with the same flavor as full-size black tomato varieties, along with deep coloration.
These are the perfect snacking tomato that makes a great addition to your summertime vegetable trays, charcuterie board, and chopped to put into your favorite summer salads.
Chocolate Stripes are another bold and colorful tomato that is best served fresh and raw. These tomatoes have a wonderful and strong flavor.
They are great for slicing and putting on burgers and sandwiches or chopping up to serve in your favorite fresh summer salads.
These beautiful tomatoes are great for growing in vegetable gardens where they will be visible.
Great White tomatoes are huge. They can grow up to 2 pounds and tend to look like white pumpkins. These tomatoes are great for slicing and serving fresh.
You can use this to make a unique and interesting tomato sauce that has a great flavor while leaving your tomato sauce with a cream color. This can be a fun way to create something special for canning.
Tiny Tim Cherry Tomatoes
Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes grow well in small spaces such as pots and hanging baskets on your patio. These tiny tomatoes are a prolific growing variety perfect for those looking to grow a snacking tomato in a small space.
These tomatoes are sweet, and flavorful tomatoes make a great addition to vegetable trays and charcuterie boards or simply snacking off the vines.
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