It's time to refresh your tomato knowledge. 

By Sarra Sedghi
May 20, 2019
Caitlin Bensel

If you’re not celebrating summer with a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, then you are doing tomato season (and yourself) a disservice. Technically fruits—tomatoes are botanically classified as berries—tomatoes have a flavor that’s both sweet and savory, a divine combination of natural sugar and acidity. They’re incredibly versatile, both a fridge and pantry staple that can improve anything—salad, pasta, sandwiches, even pie.

Summer is just around the corner, which means a plethora of fresh tomatoes that taste like sunshine are coming your way. Refresh your tomato knowledge with this guide covering 10 common tomato varieties, the relationship between a tomato’s color and taste, and the difference between heirloom and hybrid tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomatoes

The term “heirloom” refers to how tomatoes (and plenty of other fruits and vegetables) are bred. Unlike hybrid tomatoes, which come from cross-bred tomato strains, heirloom tomatoes can be traced down a single genetic line. Basically, they’re purebreds. Heirloom tomatoes are prized for their superior taste and texture, and the come in a variety of colors including orange and deep purple. However, that single strain means that heirloom tomatoes have a shorter shelf life and much less resistance to disease than hybrids.

Recipes to try: Paleo Southern-Style Tomato Pie, Mini Tomato Sandwiches with Bacon Mayonnaise, Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss.

Beefsteak Tomatoes