what is the sweetest cherry tomato
Organic Gardening

The Best Sweet Tomatoes Varieties to Try This Summer

I don’t know about you, but I love sweet, juicy tomatoes. Summer is almost here, and nothing says “fresh” quite like a juicy, sweet tomato. You can’t get any fresher than growing food right in your own backyard! With so many varieties available, I’m here to help you find the sweetest!. There may be varieties of tomatoes you’ve never even heard of.

In the world of tomatoes, there are literally 100s of varieties, with most of them not being sold in stores. Sure, everyone knows what a typical tomato looks like – apple size and red, along with cherry and grape tomatoes that are obviously smaller.  But tomatoes come in all different colors – pink, black, green and white striped, yellow and orange, and patterns like swirls and stripes.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of the sweetest tomato varieties to try this summer. From heirloom to beefsteak, I’ll take you through the best options and what makes each one unique. 

So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover your new favorite tomato variety.

This post is all about the sweetest tomatoes.

best tomato varieties

Heirloom Tomatoes Varieties

Before we move on to finding out about the sweetest tomatoes, we need to review the difference between the types of seed varieties you’ll come across in your search – heirloom versus hybrid.

If you’re a true tomato aficionado, then you know that heirloom tomatoes are not to be missed. These beauties come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re bursting with flavor. If you’re not familiar with heirloom tomatoes, that’s ok. Let’s take a look at what it means to be an heirloom and hybrid.

What are heirloom tomatoes?

Heirloom tomatoes are typically grown from seeds that have been passed down from one generation to the next, and they’ve been carefully preserved because of their exceptional taste. They’re an open-pollinated cultivar of tomato. Although both heirloom and hybrid varieties are both open-pollinated, an heirloom differs as its traits are selected by nature by wind, birds, etc. Hybrids are pollinated to ensure they are crossed with the right plants for select characteristics. They’re not to be confused with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs can’t be sold to the general public and they can only be used by commercial farms.

Although heirlooms are great to grow, they have a shorter shelf life and are less disease resistant than hybrids. Gardeners love to grow them for all different kinds of reasons from seed saving to access to lots of varieties.

While many heirloom tomatoes can be a bit more delicate than their hybrid counterparts, they’re definitely worth the extra effort. Some heirloom varieties you might come across include Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile, and you’ll find that some are sweeter than others. 

If you’re unsure which heirloom tomato to try first, then start with the classic Brandywine. This is one of the most popular heirloom tomatoes, and it’s easy to see why. Brandywine tomatoes are large, juicy, and have a sweet, slightly acidic flavor. They’re perfect for slicing up and adding to sandwiches or serving as a side dish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Now that we’ve covered the delicious world of heirloom tomatoes, how do we figure out which tomatoes are the sweetest?

The Brix Rating and the Tomato Brix Rating

There’s a way to determine sweetness and that’s with the Brix Rating. Brix Rating measures the sweetness or sugar content of foods or drinks like honey, wine, and fruit juices. The Tomato Brix rating therefore measures the sweetness of tomatoes. Not only does it measure the sugar content, but it also evaluates a tomato’s quality of taste by measuring mineral, protein, and amino acid content. The taste (sweetness or acidity level) of a tomato is affected by a number of factors like the soil, variety, and when it has been harvested.

The higher the number on the brix rating scale, the sweeter the tomato.

Homegrown tomatoes will always have a better and sweeter taste in comparison to store bought.

Sweetest Cherry Tomatoes

Let’s shift our attention to cherry tomatoes. In general, cherry tomatoes are the sweetest tomatoes. These little gems are a summer staple and find their way into many of our favorite dishes. With their vibrant colors and sweet flavor, cherry tomatoes are perfect for snacking, adding to salads, or using as a topping on pizzas.

Cherry tomatoes come in a range of colors, including red, yellow, and orange. Mixing and matching these little flavor bombs can make for a beautiful presentation on the plate. They’re also great for adding some color to your cheese and charcuterie boards.

Which Cherry Tomatoes Are the Sweetest?

  1. Fantastico – this cherry tomato variety has a Brix rating of 12, growing super sweet, bright long clusters of fruit. It’s a great choice for those that have a small garden. Just one plant can produce up to 12 pounds of fruit.
  2. Matt’s Wild Cherry – a currant tomato variety scores 11.5 on the Brix Rating. It’s one of the sweetest currant tomatoes that grows on long vines that produce bright red fruit.
  3. Rosada – a baby plum cherry tomato that scores a Brix Rating of 10.5.
  4. Apero – a sweet cherry tomato
  5. Sungold – is a bright golden orange cherry tomato that scores 8 to 8.5 on the Brix Rating. These tomatoes grow on long beautiful trusses.

Now that we’ve explored the sweet world of cherry tomatoes let’s move on to their slightly larger cousin, the grape tomato. These tomatoes are similar in size and flavor to cherry tomatoes but have a slightly different shape and texture, making them perfect for different dishes.

Sweetest Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are oblong in shape and have a thicker skin, making them a great option for roasting or grilling. They also hold up well in salads, especially when paired with creamy dressings or salty cheeses. Try tossing them in pasta salads, skewering them for a colorful kebab, or roasting them with some garlic and herbs for a tasty side dish. Like cherry tomatoes, they come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and even a deep purple.

Which are the Sweetest Grape Tomatoes?

  1. Jelly Bean – a small, sweet red tomato that grows in clusters. These clusters can have 15 to 30 tomatoes. It has a Brix Rating of 8.4.
  2. Five Star – has a Brix rating of 7.8. It’s a sweet tasting, firm, crack-resistant tomato variety.
cherry vs grape tomatoes

What’s the Difference Between Cherry and Grape Tomatoes?

Cherry and grape tomatoes are quite similar but they do have their differences. A cherry tomato looks like its name – like a cherry. It has a perfectly round shape and is the sweetest kind of tomato you can possibly have. They have a higher water content in comparison to grape tomatoes and a thin skin.

Grape tomatoes look just like their name – they look like a grape. They have a longer, oblong shape and have a lower water content. They’re not as sweet as a cherry tomato and have a bit more meat to them.

The best way to differentiate the two is by looking at their shape.

Next, we’ll take a look at the granddaddy of all tomatoes – the beefsteak – and how it can elevate your summer recipes to the next level.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Up next in our tomato exploration, we have the beefsteak tomato. These large, juicy tomatoes are the kings of the tomato world, with a meaty texture and sweet flavor that make them perfect for sandwiches or slicing up for a colorful summer salad. Some gardeners even refer to them as slicers!

While they may not be as versatile as their smaller counterparts, the beefsteak tomato shines when it comes to flavor and texture. These tomatoes are perfect for grilling or roasting, and their size makes them ideal for stuffing with rice, vegetables, or ground beef.

To make the most of these juicy giants, try slicing them thick and layering them on a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and basil, or chopping them up and tossing them with some balsamic vinegar for a simple summer salad. No matter how you prepare them, beefsteak tomatoes are sure to add a delicious burst of flavor to any dish.

cherry tomato vs grape tomato

Sweetest Beefsteak Tomatoes

Let’s take a look at the sweetest beefsteak tomatoes to grow.

  1. Mortgage Lifter – these are firm, meaty tomatoes that have a pinkish-red hue and can weigh up to 1 to 2 pounds. The breed is called ‘mortgage lifter’ because of its breeder, Marshall Cletis Byles, in the 1930s. He used a breeding technique using lots of different varieties – German Johnson, beefsteak, Italian and English varieties. Between all of these varieties he cross pollinated them. He later sold so many plants that he was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in 6 years!
  2. Pineapple – has a red, pink, yellow, and orange swirling colors with a distinct outer ribbing.
  3. Brandywine comes in different colors, but the most famous color is its pinkish-red hue. It also comes in colors like yellow and black. It’s a large tomato plant that grows vigorously with large potato leaf-like foliage.

In conclusion, summer is the perfect time to indulge in the sweet and juicy goodness of tomatoes. From the classic beefsteak to the bite-sized cherry and grape varieties, there is something for every taste preference. Trying out different types of sweet tomatoes is a fun and tasty adventure that can lead to discovering new favorites. Overall, cherry tomatoes are the sweetest type of tomato you can get. They’re so sweet they taste like candy. As you savor each tomato, remember that the journey of finding your favorite sweet tomato is just as satisfying as the destination. Happy tasting!

This post was all about the sweetest tomatoes.

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