Heirloom Tomatoes: How Color Defines Taste

Pigments in tomatoes tend to produce different balances of sugars and acids. Using Red Tomatoes as a benchmark, sugars (generally speaking) increase and acidity (generally speaking) decreases as the pigment becomes darker or lighter. To be sure, always eat the colors of the rainbow

heirloom tomatoes

BLACK/PURPLE/BROWN TOMATOES
Tend to have an earthy, almost smoky sweetness to them, with a bit less acid than red tomatoes. The flavor profile is often referred to as “smoky, complex and wine-like”

PINK TOMATOES
Offer up what most of us think of as a classic tomato flavor i.e. a balance of acid and sweetness.

RED TOMATOES
Vary in their flavor profiles leaning toward the robust, higher acid flavors. Both Reds and the Pinks are often what people are thinking of when they look for that “old-fashioned flavor”

STRIPED/MARBLED TOMATOES
Tend to have a rich, juicy, super-sweet flavor that is low in acid

ORANGE TOMATOES (NOT YELLOW)
Mild, sweet (like fruit), and are low-acid

GREEN HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Medium/sharper acidity, but the degree of sweetness varies per variety

WHITE (ACTUALLY PALE YELLOW)/YELLOW TOMATOES
Noticeably less acidic than red tomatoes. Some consider them the sweetest tomatoes and some consider them the blandest tomatoes. The common factor is low-acidity

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