Posted on 11 May 2009 by

Tomato Types By Size

tomato-typeBy Vanessa Richins

There’s a lot of terms to learn when you venture into the world of tomatoes.

You have to learn the difference between determinate and indeterminate, try to figure out what VFN means, and debate the merits of hybrid versus heirloom.

When you are picking out the varieties of tomatoes you would like to grow, it is important to determine the size of tomato you would like to harvest. Are you looking for bite size morsels or large tomatoes to slice for sandwiches?

Here are the most common tomato types you will come across while poring over seed catalogs or visiting the local nursery:


These are the smallest tomatoes – about the size of a pea. These tiny bursts of goodness are good for garnishing, salads, and for amusing children.


Grape tomatoes are oblong, like a grape, and about the same size. These are usually eaten fresh or used in salads, and are often sweet.


On average, cherry tomatoes are round and 1″ in diameter. The most common use is whole in salads.


Look for these tomatoes to have the same shape as a pear fruit. They are usually about the same size as a cherry tomato.


Plum tomatoes, also known as paste tomatoes, are oblong fruits that most often used in pastes and sauces.


Globes are your medium sized tomatoes that are found in stores. The size makes it perfect for using in meals like sandwiches and salads, hence their other name – slicing.


Like stuffed peppers? You’ll be happy to know that there are also tomatoes (which are related to peppers) with the same internal hollow structure.


Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest tomatoes and are prized by many. These can be over 2 pounds or more, depending on the variety chosen.

What’s your favorite type of tomato to grow?

3 Responses to “Tomato Types By Size”

  1. Moraita Says:

    Nice article. So, I guess for cooking purposes (stews, lentils, etc) Plum/Paste will be the best, right?


  2. Nancy Bond Says:

    Thanks for categorizing the various sizes of ‘maters! Very useful.

  3. Ryan Says:

    What would that ‘brain tomato’ count as? You know, the one you break off pieces of like garlic? That’s the only exception I can think of. 🙂

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