The Handy Heirloom Tomato Guide

Did you know there are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world? And in this quick pocket guide we’re going to cover every last one of them! Yeah right. Instead, we’re going to just give you a quick overview of heirloom tomato characteristics based on color. That way the next time you’re at the local farmers market, you’ll have a good base knowledge when hunting for that perfect tomato.

Red & Pink

This is the classic tomato profile: a nice balance between acid and sweet, perfect for slicing. A couple of our favorites are the Pink Brandywine (Sudduth’s strain) and the Caspian Pink.

Purple & Black

Some of the most beautifully colored tomatoes fall into this category, like the Black from Tula, which has a smoky/salty flavor. Most tomatoes in this group tend to have an earthy sweetness, but with less acid than their red counterparts. Spice your salad up by substituting the Chocolate Pear for regular old cherry tomatoes. These tiny little beauties have a rich flavor with just the right amount of tang.

Orange & Yellow

These tomatoes tend to be sweeter and less acidic than red tomatoes, so the next time you’re about to whip up a summer gazpacho, opt for yellow or orange tomatoes for a sweet surprise. Our favorites are the huge Summer Cider and the very fragrant, almost tropical flavors of the Hawaiian Pineapple.


All tomatoes begin as green tomatoes, but some stay green even when they ripe. These tend to be less acidic than red tomatoes, and usually have a sweet, almost tart flavor. To have your mind blown by a green tomato, pick up a Green Giant and try not to love it, or a take a peek at a Green Zebra and marvel at the watermelon-like markings.


Most of the tomatoes in this category are technically more pale yellow than white, but you get the picture. These low-acid, deliciously sweet beauties will remind you that tomatoes are, technically, a fruit. One of our favorites, the Big White Pink Stripe, will have you dreaming up ways to sneak this melon-flavored gem into a dessert. Or try the White Queen for a creamy, tropical burst.


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