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Tomato Varieties by Color

Heirlooms & Hybrids - A Guide to Tomatoes by Color


You would think a tomato's color would tell you something about its taste. Well, it does! No matter what wacky, newly cultivated tomato varieties you find at the market, you can use their color to predict their flavor profile. Find out what flavors to expect from classic red, deep purple, bright green, and even almost eerily white tomatoes below. Looking for more tomato-centric information? Check out All About Tomatoes.

Red & Pink Tomatoes

Photo © Molly Watson
Red and pink tomatoes offer up what most of us think of as a classic or standard tomato flavor: acid and sweetness in balance. You'll see plenty of Brandywine tomatoes at most markets, since they travel well, tend towards a good size for slicing, and have that bursting blast of tomato flavor most consumers want in a tomato.

Purple & Black Tomatoes

Photo © Molly Watson
They're called purple and black tomatoes, but most of them are more of a maroon or purple-y brown color, like Cherokee purples. These tomatoes tend to have an earthy, almost smoky sweetness to them, with a bit less acid than red tomatoes.

Orange & Yellow Tomatoes

Photo © Molly Watson
Orange and lemon tomatoes, like Lemon Boys and Flamme Oranges, are mild, sweet, and have very low acid. They are the varieties that will most remind you that tomatoes are, botanically speaking, fruits.

Green Tomatoes

Photo © Molly Watson
All tomatoes start off green, but some varieties, like Green Zebra, are green even when ripe. They tend to be less acidic than red tomatoes, with a balanced sweet-tart flavor.

White Tomatoes

Photo © Molly Watson

White tomatoes aren't really white. They're more of an extremely pale yellow. Like yellow tomatoes, white tomatoes, such as White Beauty, are noticeably less acidic than red tomatoes. They are also the sweetest varieties (even sweeter than orange and yellow tomatoes).

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