Plum Tomatoes

Are you wondering what makes a plum tomato different from a regular tomato? We’ll tell you all about it! There are good reasons why plum tomatoes are a chef’s favorite when making pizza and pasta.

Plum tomatoes are usually used in the making of sauces, and it’s commonly found in varieties such as Roma, Amish Paste, San Marzano, and Big Mama. They are widely known to be used asprocessing tomatoes, paste tomatoes, pear tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, Italian cooking tomatoes, and Pomodoro Perini. 

Some recipes I have made with plum tomatoes are Instant Pot Chickpea Curry, Cucumber Tomato and Avocado Salad, and Millet Tabouli.

This isn’t all! There is so much more to learn about plum tomatoes. Keep reading to find out all the details!

What are plum tomatoes?

Long, plum-shaped, and dense are some words that define plum tomatoes. These are specifically used for making tomato sauce. The plants of the plum tomato have been bred for multiple years to produce the best tomato sauce. Trust me, all those times you ate yummy marinara sauce in your favorite restaurant, it was made by using plum tomatoes only.

They generally have a pretty oval plum-like shape and are even found in other conditions such as pear-like and egg-like. The oblong shape of the plum tomatoes allows only two seeds compartments known as the locules. Did you know that the fewer seed compartments means the vegetable tastes better and has more tomato pulp? This means that it requires less amount of work when cleaning it out, and you get more sauce per tomato.

These dense tomatoes are also popularly known as meaty tomatoes. These tomatoes are bred and handled for packing and have a pretty long shelf life too. They can be stored for a while without having to worry about them going bad. Plum tomatoes are primarily red, but when searching for them, get the most bright-looking ones. Also, feel the tomatoes using a gentle hand to see if they are plump or not. Keep in mind that they will be more firm when ripe than other tomatoes.

Rare plum tomatoes:

There are 18 types of plum tomatoes that are pretty tough to find nowadays, these are the cultivars:

  • San Remo
  • Rocky
  • Opalka
  • Martinis Roma
  • Striped Roma
  • Howard’s German
  • Jersey Devil
  • Chocolate Pear
  • Black Icicle
  • Orange Icicle
  • SuperSauce
  • Banana Legs
  • Lucky Tiger
  • Gladiator
  • Black Plum
  • Rio Grande
  • Speckled Roman
  • Supremo

Roma and San Marzano are easily available at your nearest grocery store but if you want to try out the other types of tomatoes then you can check out the farmers market or grow your own.

How to store plum tomatoes?

Plum tomatoes are known to have a longer shelf life, but there are ways of storing them for a long time. One of the easy ways to store plum tomatoes is by canning them. The plum tomatoes stay in shape if kept in cans and break down pretty quickly and nicely into sauce. You can easily keep it in your refrigerators or store it in your freezers!

How to pick plum tomatoes?

Selecting plum tomatoes can be tricky. You want to get the good ones from the farmers market or the local grocery store. When selecting plum tomatoes in the market, go for those that are firm and have smoother skins. If the plum tomato has small green patches, then that is fine, since these will resolve when the tomato ultimately becomes ripe.

Make sure you avoid all those tomatoes that have any brown patches because these aren’t good ones. If you think the tomatoes are unripe, then you can store them at room temperature for approximately 3-5 in a paper bag, and they will ripen up quickly

How to use plum tomatoes?

Do you plan to use these meaty tomatoes in your dishes? They have so many culinary uses! Here are some examples of how they can be used in the kitchen.

  • You can purée it and can easily add it to your stocks, soups, and even sauces to give a stronger tomato flavor or cut through overly rich recipes.
  • These tomatoes taste the best if you use fresh ones; make the most out of them by adding garlic, onions, and just a few other herbs. You can use them this way raw, such as in your salads.
  • Are you a cheese lover? These plum tomatoes can be used and preserved in oil and herbs, then sliced and added to salads, salsas and used as a garnish, anything you wish!

Plum tomato benefits:

Plum tomatoes are known to be excellent for the heart, skin and even lower the risk of cancer. Let’s find out why you need to eat them and add them to your diet!

Improve heart health:

These tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, which is excellent for you. By adding them, you can make your blood rich in these compounds. It lowers bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, and reduces oxidative stress that may lead to heart strokes. Plum tomatoes can be helpful in improving the protective lining of the blood vessels and help lower any risk of blood clotting.

Tomatoes for skin health:

Tomatoes, in general, are considered excellent for your skin health. Plum tomatoes are an excellent source to add to your salads to improve your skin; the lycopene protects sunburn and keeps your skin healthy and glowy!

Tomatoes as cancer risk reduction:

Cancer is a pretty uncontrollable disease; its cells spread abnormally throughout the body and invade every part. These tomatoes can be helpful in lowering chances of lung, prostate cancer and since it has a high concentration of carotenoids.


Are you excited to try it out? Well go for it, you can find multiple recipes that use these tomatoes and easily grab it from your nearby farmers market and reap the benefits it provides! Try it out in your pastas and see the difference it makes to the sauce.

Other vegetable articles:

What Is Cassava?

Long Squash

Root Vegetables

Fennel Bulb


Watermelon Radish

What is Shiso?


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