Let’s confess: Most of us can’t tell the difference between the different types of tomatoes. All over the world there are species of tomatoes that you’ve probably never heard of, each characterized by its own color, texture, juiciness, and nutritional value.
Here’s an interesting review of the different types of tomatoes:
During a regular visit to the supermarket or the green grocer next to our house, we fill our shopping basket with tomatoes with only the most superficial observation. We check the size and the shape, the ripeness and the color of each tomato, and according to these external characteristics, we decide if it suits our needs.
Now, it’s time you learned: There are many more types of tomatoes than you have imagined – more than 23 species of tomatoes all over the world, to be exact!
In the past few years, scientific studies have proven the unique healthy characteristics of the tomato. One of those is the red pigment in the tomato, lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant and thought of as a chemical that reduces the risk of cancer, heart attacks and reduces the levels of cholesterol. Tomatoes are also an excellent source for the regular absorption of vitamins.
The types of tomatoes are divided into culinary categories, according to their use in the kitchen. Each type also has a sub-category, but in general, they are divided into 3 categories:
- Salad tomatoes
- Cherry and grape tomatoes
- Beefsteak tomatoes
The caloric value of most tomatoes is 17.7 for every 100 grams. (There may be differences between different species, but they are minimal).
Salad tomatoes are usually classified as tomatoes that are between 5 – 7.5 cm and characterized by their sharp taste and juiciness —more than the other two species. Their sharp taste helps to counter their sweetness. Some of the salad tomatoes also can be sub-categorized as tropical fruits – they are not only red, but sometimes appear as orange and green.
The dietary fiber for salad tomatoes is 1.2 for each 100 grams. Of the three species of tomatoes listed, salad tomatoes are the majority. Some types of salad tomatoes are:
- Pantano Romanesco – This species is composed of a perfect combination of sweetness and sharpness.
- Green Zebra – These tomatoes have a sharp taste with a pale green color and are relatively small in size (5-10 cm).
- Carmello – These are red tomatoes that have a size that ranges between 7-10 cm, are particularly juicy and appear relatively late in the season.
Cherry and grape tomatoes
You are all probably familiar with small cherry and grape tomatoes – which can usually be found as an average size of 2.5 cm a tomato and grown together in large quantities. They are more resistant to fruit and vegetable diseases than tomatoes that are a medium to large size.
The amount of protein in each tomato is .88 a gram. Some of the different types of cherry tomatoes are:
- Sungold – These cherry tomatoes are durable, sweet, and are orange-red in color.
- Sweet 100 – These cherry tomatoes have a classic and balanced taste in a chewable size.
- Black cherry – This is a relatively big and dark (it is a deep purple color) tomato with a variety of different tastes, with a strong resistance to fruit and vegetable diseases.
Beefsteak tomatoes are large and meaty. The fruit is heavy, thick and extremely meaty. Some of these tomatoes come in a huge size – 15 cm a tomato and a weight of .45 to 1.4 kg. This type of tomato needs a longer growing season than usual as well as more heat than salad tomato or cherry and grape tomatoes. The amount of sugar in this type of tomato is 2.63 per 100 gm. Some of the types of beefsteak tomatoes are:
- Big beef – These durable species are suitable to a cool climate; each are 10 – 15 cm and they have a solid texture.
- Cherokee purple – This species has a sweet and smoky flavor; special with a color that ranges between red, purple and green.
- Black krim – These tomatoes are relatively large in size, with a dominant taste and color similar to a turnip at its edges.
Now that you have a bit more knowledge of the different types of species of tomatoes, we can distinguish between them. Most of these tomatoes have similar nutritional values. And since they are all an excellent source of vitamins, it is recommended to have a tomato and a half a day in order to improve our resistance to different health risks.