What Does A Plum Tomato Look Like?

Last Updated on April 6, 2022 by Maria B.

Do you know what does a plum tomato look like, or the many types of tomatoes are confusing you, and you can barely tell them apart?

Plum tomatoes are adored for their rich flavor that blends in with Italian food.  They are an excellent variety to grow, and gardeners across America love to grow these tomatoes.  Growing your tomatoes provides you with a bounty harvest of fresh produce that you can enjoy all through the season and store for future use.  There is such pride in growing your vegetables, and most gardeners can attest to that.

Let’s go over some essential facts and tips and learn what does a plum tomato look like to know them better.

What are plum tomatoes?

Plum tomatoes are long, plum-shaped tomatoes explicitly grown for making tomato sauce. These tomatoes have been bred for a long time – hundreds of years to produce the best tomatoes for making tomato sauce.

The plum or oblong shape allows for only 2 seed compartments, called locules, to grow inside the plum tomato. Fewer seed compartments mean more yummy tomato pulp! It also means less work while removing the seed pockets as part of tomato processing.

Plum tomatoes are dense tomatoes that are meaty, meaning they are mainly full of pulp with few seeds. Most of these plum tomatoes are red with brightly colored skin, and they are more firm when ripe than other varieties. They are also grown for market handling and packing and have a longer shelf life than other tomatoes.

What does a plum tomato look like?

Plum tomatoes look pear or egg-shaped.  This oblong tomato can easily fit in the palm of your hand.  It has a firm texture and robust flavor that blend well with Italian cuisines and hearty sauces.

What is considered a plum tomato?

Having identified what does a plum tomato look like, let’s look at the following known well-known types of plum tomatoes.

Small Plum Tomatoes

Also known as grape tomatoes because of their small size, these tomatoes are more oval than round in shape.  They are of the South East Asian origin and grow in the climate closely related to that region. They have a vibrant red color and are slightly oval, making them distinct from cherry tomatoes.  The small plum tomatoes are best used for stir-fry recipes, certain types of salads, sautéed vegetable mix. Their taste is just as sweet as the much-loved cherry tomatoes.

Italian Style Plum Tomatoes

Italian plum tomatoes are best for cooking and can be added to sauces, jams, pickles, purees, gravies, and soups. These are the most commonly grown plum tomatoes, with most gardeners assuming it is the only type of plum tomato.  These tomatoes are a larger and more vibrant, bright red color with a firm structure.  If you are cooking some meat – Italian plum tomatoes are the ones you should opt for.

What is considered a plum tomato

San Marzano Plum Tomatoes

The one significant difference between San Marzano plum tomatoes and the other plum tomatoes is this variety’s long and pointed shape.  These tomatoes are cylindrical and come with an extended tip.  They are named after the San Marzano town in Italy, where they were first grown.  They thrive in a warmer climate for better growth.

Roma VF Plum Tomatoes

The Roma VF plum tomatoes are a unique variety of plum tomato grown through an openly pollinated variety of plants instead of a hybrid. This variety is the one commonly produced commercially. It is pear-shaped, and its vibrant color is attractive. This variety boils faster and is easily canned.

Here is a list of some harder to find plum tomato cultivar types

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

What tomatoes are similar to plum tomatoes?

If you don’t have plum tomatoes, you can use other tomatoes that are similar to them.  They include

Grape tomatoes

Grape tomatoes look like small plum tomatoes.  They are bigger than cherry tomatoes and are not too sweet, making them a better option when replacing plum tomatoes in a recipe.

Grape tomatoes add texture to your recipes, and those craving the right consistency are closely related to the plum tomato.  They are perfect for snacking, salads and can be locally grown.  You will not have to compromise on either flavor or texture.

Here are some varieties of grape tomatoes:

  • Tiger Stripes
  • Datterino
  • Italian Winter Grape
  • Little Mama
  • Yellow Pear
  • Brad’s Atomic Grape
  • Beefsteak tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are an excellent replacement for plum tomatoes as crushed tomatoes for cooking sauces.

Like plum varieties, the beefsteak tomato has lower water content and fewer seeds. The main difference is the taste; beefsteaks have a milder flavor and are an excellent substitute in sauces where you’ll be adding extra ingredients.

Campari tomatoes

These are medium-sized tomatoes known for their sweetness and juicy. They have more water contents than plum tomatoes, but to eliminate it, you can cook them longer than you would other tomatoes to allow more liquid to be released and reduced.  You can also crush them during the cooking process to give them excellent consistency.

Their flavor is not like regular tomatoes; thus, they make an excellent substitute for plum tomatoes.  Their consistency and texture are the same.

Which is the best plum tomato?

Roma VF plum tomatoes are some of the finest varieties of plum tomato.  This variety was developed by the USDA in the 1950s.  They are the most common commercially grown plum tomatoes in America.  Roma tomatoes are grown from Roma VF tomato seeds and are a determinate type.  It is perfect for making Italian-style tomato sauce and tomato paste.

Tomato Seeds Variety Pack

Final thoughts on what does a plum tomato look like

You not only know what does a plum tomato look like, but you also know what other types can be used in the place of this exquisite tomato.

Who knew tomatoes got class? Yeah, they are also classified according to their flavor, and the plum tomatoes have always flown that flag very high. All the other tomatoes are not suitable replacements for plum tomatoes as they carry too much water that could cause an imbalance in your dish.