September brings variety in the types of tomato we can choose to buy. Our shelves at Stockbox are filling up with a rainbow of different tomato flavors, but when it comes to picking a pint to cook with, is there more to seasonal tomatoes than meets the eye?
FAQ: What are the differences between seasonal tomato varieties?
A: The main differences are in color, flavor and texture. Each variety produces different amounts of carotenoids, which can change their color, but they also produce varying amounts of sugars, pectin, and cellulose (not to mention varying shapes and sizes). All of these things affect how the tomato holds up in your cooking.
Here are the features of the seasonal varieties we’ve got in store from Viva Farms…
These tomatoes were not bred for a specific color, so the plants can make more sugars, resulting in sweeter, richer flavor. They’re also extremely juicy and tender, which is perfect for a sloppy sandwich or a quick sauce. There are many kinds of heirloom tomato, including varieties like Brandywine (round, medium red), Big Rainbow (large and pumpkin-shaped with a mix of green, red and yellow on the inside and outside), and Cherokee Purple (medium to large size, burgundy red with dark green undertones). Which ones have you tried?
Often called “plum tomatoes” or “Italian tomatoes”, this variety is known for its oblong shaped fruits. They pack a strong, pungent flavor and contains lots of pectin, which makes them a popular choice for canning, tomato paste, stews, and slow-cooked sauce
This tomato variety (nicknamed “Green Zebra”) has a reputation for its wild appearance, and the flavor is no different. Because green tomatoes develop less sugars than others, the fruits are strikingly zesty. This refreshing, acidic flavor can be a great addition to salads, salsas, and breakfast scrambles.
True to their name, cherry tomatoes are small, sweet, and juicy. Because they have thick skin, they won’t get soggy when you pack them along for a snack or toss them into a salad. Whether you want color or flavor, both the red (deeper, earthier) or gold (sweet, tangy) will give your meal a lively pop.
For more details on our seasonal tomatoes, ask our team members, or contact our local tomato growers at http://www.vivafarms.org/ .