Botanically, a tomato is classified as a fruit (berry), but is consumed primarily as a vegetable. And although there are recipes for sweet dishes with the addition of tomato, this fruit has won the culinary world as a base for many savory dishes.
Tomatoes are eaten and loved raw - straight from the vine, sauté like an apple, and in various types of salads, salsas or sandwiches. Cherry sized tomato varieties makes an excellent snack and the juice made from a fresh tomatoes is a great addition to a daily, healthy diet.
These fruits acquire a rich taste after cooking. Various types of sauces and stews are prepared from them, and added to pasta, rice dishes, groats, meats and fish. The richness of flavors and nutritional values in cooked tomatoes makes them perfect for preserving and canning, which allows us to enjoy their taste all year round. It is safe to say that the culinary world without tomato would be extremely poor.
Below are the different types of tomato fruits, broken down into recommended culinary uses. Of course, culinary tastes vary and everyone can choose what they like best. Some tomato varieties, however, have characteristics that make them taste better when eaten raw, and others are better for cooking or canning.
Paste, sauce and canner tomatoes have firm, dense, meaty flesh and small amount of seed and gel. They also are much less juicy than other types, which makes them perfect for cooking and preserve.
Tomatoes, that are best for salads are usually small, saladette and cherry type fruit.
Slicer tomatoes medium, large and extra large, round, juicy and meaty tomatoes, that sliced perfectly fits on a sandwich. These type of tomato fruit include huge beefsteak tomatoes as well as smaller, round and oblate ones.
Stuffer tomato varieties produce fruit that contains small amount of seed and gel in the center of the fruit. This type of tomato fruit usually has a thick walls which makes them perfect for stuffing with different type of filling - cheeses with herbs or minced meat.
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