Plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes or Italian tomatoes, characterize by their oblong shape and meaty flesh and have fewer seeds and less water content than other types of tomatoes. This makes them ideal for sauces, pastes, and other dishes that require a thicker consistency, allowing you to use them in many dishes to add flavor and nutrition. They are also slightly sweeter and less acidic than other varieties, which makes them a popular choice for salads and sandwiches. Widely available in supermarkets and farmers markets, plum tomatoes make a versatile ingredient for a variety of dishes.
What Are Plum Tomatoes?
Plum tomatoes, also called Roma or Italian, are oblong with a pointed end. They are firmer and smaller than round tomatoes and have thicker skin, making them good for cooking and preserving. Plum tomatoes are known for their sweet and slightly acidic flavor, and are often used in sauces, soups, and stews. They are also popular for canning and making tomato paste, as they have fewer seeds and less juice than round tomatoes. Culinary uses, plum tomatoes are also a good source of nutrients, vitamin C, potassium, and powerful antioxidant.
Varieties of Plum Tomatoes
There are many varieties of plum tomatoes, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. Some common varieties include:
San Marzano: A classic Italian variety, known for its deep red color and rich, sweet flavor.
Amish Paste: A heirloom variety with a deep red color and a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
Roma VF: A hybrid variety with a meaty texture and a mild, sweet flavor.
Opalka: A heirloom variety with a pinkish-orange color and a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
Costoluto Genovese: An heirloom variety with a ribbed, slightly flattened shape and a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
Red Pear: An heirloom variety with a pear-shaped fruit and a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
Yellow Plum: A yellow variety with a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
Black Plum: A dark purple variety with a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.
It’s worth noting that the flavor of plum tomatoes can vary depending on growing conditions and the specific variety. Some plum tomatoes may be sweeter or more acidic than others.
Italian Plum Tomatoes
Italian plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes, are a type of tomato that is native to Italy. They elongate in shape and possess a firm, meaty flesh with few seeds, making them ideal for canning and processing into tomato sauce. Italian cuisine also commonly uses them for dishes like bruschetta, caprese salad, and pizza.
Growers in the region of San Marzano near Naples believe that the soil and climate contribute to the unique flavor and characteristics of the Italian plum tomatoes grown there. Known for their sweet, slightly acidic flavor and deep red color, these tomatoes are grown in various regions throughout Italy.
Cooks often use Italian plum tomatoes in canned and cooked sauces because of their thick flesh and ability to hold their shape. They are also a popular choice for making sun-dried tomatoes because of their firm texture and intense flavor.
Italian cuisine and beyond widely use Italian plum tomatoes for their versatility and flavorful taste.
Plum Tomatoes vs. Roma Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes, known as paste tomatoes, small, oval-shaped and firmer than other types. Cooking often uses them due to high flesh and low seeds, great for sauces, soups, and dishes needing thicker texture. They also have a sweet, slightly acidic flavor that is well-suited for cooking.
Roma tomatoes, on the other hand, are a type of plum tomato that is oval in shape and has a thicker, meatier flesh. They are also less juicy than other types of tomatoes and have fewer seeds.
Roma tomatoes are often used for cooking because of their firm flesh and low water content, which makes them ideal for canning, sauces, and pastes. They have a slightly sweet, mild flavor and are often used in Italian cuisine.
Both plum and Roma tomatoes are good choices for cooking because of their firm flesh and low water content. However, they may have slightly different flavors and textures depending on the variety.
Plum Tomatoes vs. San Marzano Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes, also called Roma, are oblong with thick flesh and few seeds. They are good for cooking because they keep their shape and are less juicy.
Growers in the region of San Marzano, Italy, cultivate San Marzano tomatoes for their sweet, slightly acidic flavor. Italian cooks frequently use these tomatoes in sauces because of their fleshy texture and low seed count, making them one of the best types of tomatoes for making sauce.
In general, both plum tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes are good choices for cooking and can be used interchangeably in many recipes. However, San Marzano tomatoes may be more expensive and harder to find than other types of plum tomatoes.
Canned Plum Tomatoes
Italy’s San Marzano region grows canned plum tomatoes. They have a sweet and slightly acidic taste and firm texture, good for sauces, soups, stews, braises, and roasts.
Most supermarkets offer convenient and shelf-stable canned plum tomatoes, typically packed in a can with tomato juice or puree. These tomatoes can be peeled and crushed or diced, or some brands offer whole canned plum tomatoes packed in juice or puree for recipes that call for whole tomatoes.
Cooking canned plum tomatoes eliminates the need for additional cooking, making them ready to use in recipes. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.
Add flavor and nutrition to many dishes with the versatile and convenient canned plum tomatoes.
Fresh Plum Tomatoes
Fresh plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes or Italian tomatoes. It is a type of tomato known for its oblong shape and firm, dense flesh. Warm climates typically grow these tomatoes, which are available in the summer and fall months.
Fresh plum tomatoes are a popular ingredient in many dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and pasta sauces. They boast a sweet and slightly acidic flavor, a firm texture that makes them ideal for cooking and holding their shape in dishes.
Fresh plum tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
Store plum tomatoes at room temp, away from sunlight. Don’t refrigerate, as it can alter flavor/texture. Use fresh plums within a few days; freeze/can for later.
Fresh plum tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious ingredient. They can be used in many dishes to add flavor and nutrition.
Growing Plum Tomatoes
To grow plum tomatoes, you need a sunny spot or large container. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date or purchase seedlings from a nursery. Amend the soil with compost or other organic matter and plant the seedlings in well-draining soil. Water the plants regularly, making sure to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
Plum tomatoes benefit from staking or trellising to help support the plants as they grow. You can use stakes, cages, or trellises to keep the plants upright and prevent them from sprawling on the ground.
Prune off lower leaves on plants that are about 6 inches tall to encourage new branches. Pick ripe tomatoes off the plant fresh or preserve them by canning or freezing. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful crop of delicious plum tomatoes.
Recipes with Plum Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes, also called Roma, are oval or pear-shaped with denser flesh than other tomatoes. They hold their shape well and have a slightly sweeter flavor, making them good for cooking. Here are a few recipe ideas featuring plum tomatoes:
Grilled Plum Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers: Cut plum tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into chunks and thread them onto skewers. Grill the skewers until the cheese melts and the tomatoes char slightly. Serve with basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Plum Tomato Pasta: Toss plum tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast them in the oven until they are soft and caramelized. Mix the roasted tomatoes with cooked pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, and a handful of fresh basil.
Plum Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Slice plum tomatoes and eggplant into thin rounds and layer with mozzarella in a baking dish. Pour beaten eggs, milk, and Parmesan over the top and bake until golden and set.
Plum Tomato and Corn Salad: Combine diced plum tomatoes, cooked corn kernels, diced red onion, and chopped fresh basil in a bowl. Toss with a simple dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, and honey.
Plum Tomato and Chicken Skewers: Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and thread them onto skewers with plum tomato chunks. Grill the skewers until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are slightly charred. Serve with a side of rice or quinoa.
Plum tomatoes are oval or pear-shaped with firm, meaty flesh. They have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than round tomatoes and hold their shape well when cooked. Use them in soups, stews, sauces, and salads because of their high flesh and low moisture content – paste tomatoes, also called, make excellent sauce and paste.
Hello, This is Lora J Fusco. I am have been working as a chef in a restaurant for years. This the place where I pass my time by writing blogs for you. Welcome here.