The flavor of tomatoes is expressed in the balance between acidity and sweetness. In addition, other elusive volatile compounds also affect the taste and aroma of the fruit. While sweet and sour tastes are well understood, these other volatile compounds are still not fully defined, and many tomato growers are trying to understand them. Among the descriptions of flavors and aromas found in tomatoes, the following flavor profiles are most often distinguished: acidic, fruity, mild, smokey, sweet, tart and well-balanced. We must also remember that environmental conditions such as intense sunlight, soil, watering, and temperature are also very important factors that influence the taste of tomato fruits.
Fruits with a predominantly sour taste are referred to as 'acidic'. This type of tomato has a higher level of acid combined with a lower level of sugars.
Some varieties of tomatoes, in particular varieties with fruits of the bi-color or tri-color type, have a noticeable fruity aroma. These fruits are also usually sweeter than others.
If a tomato is low in both acid and sugar, it has a bland or mild taste.
One of the characteristics of the flavor in tomato fruit, that experts use, is 'smokey' or ‘earthy’. This flavor is very characteristic for some dark-fruited varieties.
Tomatoes that are higher in sugars and low in acids have a sweet taste.
The tart flavor in tomatoes is due to the higher levels of acid in the fruit with the absence of sugars.
Well-balanced is the most preferred flavor for most people. It is a result of high levels of acids combined with a high level of sugars to balance the taste.
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