A Guide to Tomatoes

There are more than 500 varieties of tomatoes grown in the United States. Here are some of the most common types, with names of different―but all delicious―types to try.

By Jane Kirby


These are the largest tomatoes. Eat them on sandwiches and burgers or on their own with a sprinkle of kosher salt. The dense flesh resembles marbled steak, hence the name, and makes for sturdy, meaty slices.
Varieties to try: Better Boy, Big Beef, Big Rainbow, Brandywine (shown), Evergreen, Mortgage Lifter, Pruden's Purple, St. Pierre.


Varying from berry to plum size, cherry tomatoes are great for snacking, salads, and, when large and plump, roasting.
Varieties to try: Principe Borghese, Red Pear, Sun Gold, Sweet 100, Sweet Million, Yellow Pear.


Plum tomatoes are all-purpose―slice them onto salads and sandwiches or cook with them. They have more solid flesh than watery seeds, which makes them ideal for boiling into sauces and baking.
Varieties to try: Amish Paste, La Rossa, San Marzano.


These seedy tomatoes are generally about half the size of beefsteaks and have less marbling. The high water content makes them better for eating raw, cutting into wedges, broiling, and stuffing.
Varieties to try: Arkansas Traveler, Lemon Boy, Long-Keeper, Nebraska Wedding, Stupice, Tigrella, Zorba.

Read More About:Food

Related Content

Variety of vegetables on a cutting board

Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes

Delicious good-for-you recipes, ingredient advice, and low-fat cooking tricks for a healthier, happier you.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip


This puree is also delicious spread on crunchy whole-grain toast. Top with the goat cheese and cilantro.