Walk through the farmers market this time of year and you'll be blown away by the variety of tomatoes laid out at various stands. I always find myself lost among the shapes, sizes, and colors, trying to buy at least one of each unique type just to see what it tastes like. Here are just some of the incredible array of tomatoes that flock the markets.
1. Red Beefsteak
There's nothing boring about your standard red tomato — it's large, firm, and meant to be sliced thick for caprese salads or BLT sandwiches.
2. Old German
This heirloom variety is extra juicy, has few seeds, and is also best sliced thick in sandwiches and on toast.
3. Pink Furry Boar
Funny name, yes. This medium-sized tomato has pink- and cream-striped skin, but what makes it most interesting is the light peach-like fuzz on that skin.
4. Red Cherry and Grape
These little guys are known and loved. Cherry tomatoes are slightly larger than grape, but both are perfect halved in a tomato salad or eaten right out of your hand for a snack.
5. Orange Beefsteak
This heirloom not only has a pretty orange skin, but it's also less acidic than red varieties.
6. Sungold Cherry
These tiny tomatoes are extra sweet and also have a citrus-like flavor to them. Use them in conjunction with red cherry tomatoes for a colorful mix.
7. Yellow Plum
Another heirloom that has a mild flavor — they're extra nice drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and tossed on the grill.
8. Yellow Pear
These funny-shaped tomatoes are about the size of grape tomatoes, but look more like tiny pears. They're mild and great for snacking.
9. Lemon Boy
These medium-sized tomatoes are a bright, almost florescent yellow. They are low in acid and mildly tangy in flavor. Try adding them to your next panzanella.
10. Chocolate Cherry
This heirloom is reddish-brown in color and a bit larger than your average cherry tomato. Its flavor is especially unique: it's deep, rich, and almost smoky.
11. Purple Cherokee
Another heirloom tomato with a mahogany-like hue. These guys are extra large, have meaty flesh, and are another perfect slicer.
Not to be confused with Green Zebra tomatoes, a variety that is green when ripe, these green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes of any other variety. They have a tangy flavor and crisp texture that's most commonly enjoyed battered and fried.
These tomatoes were sourced by Melissa's Produce.