Tomatoes are actually a fruit, and there are many varieties of tomatoes. They can be big, or they can be smaller, but they all have the genetic attributes. They have seeds, a core, and a fleshy interior with a sweet taste.
The main difference between Roma tomatoes and plum tomatoes is that Roma tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes, whereas plum tomatoes are a type of tomatoes in itself.
Roma tomatoes are bigger and oval, and they typically have fewer seeds than other types of tomatoes, and they are usually sweeter, juicier, and generally more flavorful.
Plum tomatoes have more flesh and seeds, so are typically used for tomato paste or canned tomatoes for cooking.
Plum tomatoes are typically known as sauce tomatoes, as they are often grown for this exact purpose. Their look is slightly oblong, and cylindrical with fewer locules inside the tomato.
Locules are cavities which contain seeds within a fruit. The flesh to juice ratio in a plum tomato is frequently greater than other varieties of tomatoes, and they are a lot more robust and solid inside.
They are solid and relatively easy to cut and dice small for pastes and sauces.
There are small plum tomatoes which are informally known as grape tomatoes because of their visual similarity to grapes, as well as their sweet taste, similar to cherry tomatoes.
There are also Italian style plum tomatoes, which are some of the best types for cooking, they are the most popular and easy to grow, and they are slightly larger, with bright red, firm skin.
They are oval, and are half the size of a beefsteak tomato. San Marzano tomatoes are also part of the plum tomato family. They are pointed and long, and their name originates from a small town in Italy where they were first grown.
Because of this, they usually need a warmer climate. Finally, Roma tomatoes are a special variety of plum tomatoes, and they are a variety of plum. They are widely used commercially as they boil faster and last longer in cans and tubes.
Origins Of The Roma Tomato
Roma tomatoes are typically grown in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. They survive versatile climates, and they grow on vines.
The vines they grow on are determinate, which means that the tomatoes ripen at a specific and certain time, rather than growing and ripening consistently throughout the season.
They grow quickly, with many tomatoes at a time, so they are perfect for making batches of tomato sauce, ketchup, and for eating as they are. The tomato originally comes from South America, not Rome, surprisingly.
Roma tomatoes were domesticated in Mexico and continually grown here, whilst also being cultivated to grow happily in colder climates, such as Great Britain and the United States.
Varieties Of Tomatoes
There are so many varieties of tomatoes, with each having different uses and properties. With so many varieties, there are so many things they are great to use for.
For example, some are perfect for eating as they are, some are great for grilling, using in sauces, pastes and sautéing.
Roma tomatoes are the most popular plum tomato, they are full of flavor, tangy, and natural-tasting. They taste as if they’ve been picked straight out of your garden.
They are the most popular for cooking with because of their well-rounded, meaty and dense flavor and texture.
Red beefsteak tomatoes are known as one of the top tomatoes. They are perfect for slicing and eating in sandwiches, salads, and most especially in salsa.
They are perfect to dice up and use in fresh salsa, dips, and sauces. Their flavor is mild, and sweet, but balanced, and has a typical good tomato flavor. They are large, firm, and meaty, and they are easy to cut and dice.
There are also green beefsteak tomatoes. Although they are green, it does not mean they are unripe, and they have such a unique flavor.
They are slightly tart as you may expect, crunchy, firm and tangy. They are perfect for sandwiches, salads, salsa, sauces, juicing and pickling.
Heirloom tomatoes are some of the most versatile and beautiful tomatoes; they look exactly how you’d want a tomato to look. There are different colors of heirloom tomatoes, from yellow, to a deep red.
They are classically rich in flavor, and make an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches and to buffet spreads. They are perfect sliced up with a sprinkle of salt, or grilled with chicken or fish.
Vine tomatoes are firmer on the outside, with thicker membrane and seeds, a juicy sweet taste, and a moist interior. They grow on the vine, and stay fresher longer when attached to the vine, they are sweet and juicy, and are perfect for grilling, salads, sauces, and soups.
Cherry tomatoes are round and sweet, resembling cherries. They originate from South America and were domesticated to America before the arrival of Christopher Columbus!
They are crisp, with softer skin, and they really are sweet and juicy. The darker they are, the better they taste, too.
Cocktail tomatoes are small, with a sweet and fruity taste. They are juicy, and hold a traditional, fresh tomato flavor. They have a slight herbaceous smell, and they have soft skin, fewer seeds than your average tomato, and more flesh.
Roma tomatoes are plump, red, and oval-shaped. They are used predominantly to make sauces, pastes, and as a flavorful addition to dishes. The Roma VF tomato is a hybrid, and is bred from the Roma tomato to be resistant to diseases.
This is so it can be used commercially and widely without as many issues, so its skin does not wilt and split. The Roma VF variety is resistant to soil-born diseases such as verticillium wilt which is caused from cold weather.
It is a fungal disease which causes death to pants, and causes root rot due to the damp conditions in the soil. They are also resistant to fusarium wilt which is caused from warm climates.
Roma VF tomatoes are widely bred and sold, so there will be no worries about any diseases with them.
Roma tomatoes are openly pollinated naturally, which is just another reason why they’re a great variety of plum tomato. Most tomatoes are grown commercially for a shops and market, so they have to be pollinated through hormones and chemicals.
These aren’t necessarily harmful, but you can definitely taste a difference. They are pollinated naturally through bees, and insects, so they are fresher and more viable for developing new seeds.
This means they are really easy to grow at home, as their seeds allow them to be propagated in most conditions, and they determinate fast too, so they will produce lots of their kind.
This is one of the main reasons they are so popular to find in shops and are used in canned sauces and tins. They are easy to grow, reliable, resistant to diseases, and fruitful.
Plum tomatoes are incredibly common to find, as there are also many varieties of them as listed above. They are available to buy in most stores and supermarkets, and are relatively simple to grow at home, too.
They are especially cultivated and bred for the purpose of making tomato paste and canned tomatoes because they are slightly tangy and full-bodied. This does not mean you cannot eat them on their own, as they are still delicious!
Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are incredibly nutritious and rich in flavor and nutrients. They contain vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, along with folate, thiamine, and vitamin B6.
There are also nutritious minerals present in tomatoes such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. The flesh, skin, and juice of tomatoes is incredibly nutritious, full of fibers and protein.
The seeds don’t hold much nutritional value, and they can be removed, but they are still delicious in soups and sauces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Roma Tomatoes Be Used As A Substitute For Plum Tomatoes?
If you are making a recipe that contains plum tomatoes, and you do not have any, Roma tomatoes can be used. They are perfect for making sauces, as are plum tomatoes.
They are prominent in Italian cooking, along with tomato paste, so they have similar taste. Plum tomatoes do not contain as much juice as other tomatoes, so are perfect for thickening.
This is similar to Roma tomatoes, although they do contain slightly more juice, they have fewer seeds and juice, and more flesh.
Are Roma Tomatoes Bigger Than Plum Tomatoes?
Plum tomatoes are oval-shaped and can come in several sizes, depending on which plum tomato it is. They are typically smaller, and are most common found in a grape size, but slightly larger.
Roma tomatoes are around 3 inches (ca. 8 cm) long and are sometimes slightly larger than your average plum tomato. Plum tomatoes are typically 2 inches (ca. 5 cm) long, sometimes less.
Why Are Roma Tomatoes Called Roma Tomatoes?
Roma tomatoes are a type of plum tomato, and the name infers that they are from Italy. Although they are widely used in Italy, they were actually cultivated and developed in the USDA in 1955.
They are called Roma because they were domesticated in Mexico, the name derives from the Aztec word ‘tomatl’, as Spanish explorers brought the tomato to Europe in the 1600s, and was popular among Italians and Spaniards.