A very important feature that differentiates tomato fruits is their shape. In addition to the well-known round and slightly flattened shape of tomatoes, there are many other interesting shapes. There are varieties with elongated, cylinder-shaped fruit, pear/piriform or pouch-shaped fruit with more or less wavy shoulders. There are also heart-shaped fruits that are extremely popular and loved by all gardeners. Characteristics of individual shapes of tomato fruit are presented below.
Elongated tomatoes have a cylindrical shape and are of different sizes, from small to large. They are mostly meaty and have very few seeds. This type of tomato is perfect for cooking, making a thick sauce, soups, or tomato gravy. Fruit can be also canned in whole or chopped.
Grape tomatoes are small, cherry-sized fruit with a slightly elongated grape-like shape. They can grow on regular or multiflora type trusses which causes them to grow in clusters just like grapes do. They make perfect snacks or salads.
Oblate tomatoes are round and slightly flattened in shape, have smooth shoulders, and are great slicers. This group contains many commercial varieties because their uniformly smooth shape makes them attractive to customers.
Oxheart type tomatoes can be very large, more than a pound, but can also be very small, even cherry-sized fruits. They are usually very meaty and contain very few seeds. This type of tomato is great for fresh eating but also makes wonderful tomato juice or sauce. Perfect for cooking.
Plum, pear or piriform tomatoes can also be very small, cherry-sized fruit, or large, up to about 10-15 oz. Big pear-shaped tomatoes are usually very meaty and are perfect for cooking or canning. Some of them are also great for fresh eating.
Ribbed tomatoes have very wavy shoulders. Most of them are large-fruited varieties, but there are also small, saladette-sized ribbed tomatoes.
Round tomatoes are usually very uniform in shape. This group contains different size fruit- tiny, saladette, small and medium-sized tomatoes. Many commercial varieties are round in shape because they are visually appealing at market.
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