We’ve all seen them before; walking by a farmers market and spotting an astonishing array of tomatoes. Purple tomatoes with yellow streaks, super short and fat tomatoes with tons of ridges, completely black tomatoes, small ones with red and yellow stripes…
These are all varieties of heirloom tomatoes. This special fruit is such a varying species with seemingly impossible possibilities.
Here’s a quick list of 16 types of heirloom tomatoes that you can grow in your garden, or keep an eye out for at the next farmers market.
Table of Contents
- What Makes an Heirloom Tomato an Heirloom Tomato?
- 16 Types of Heirloom Tomato (Alphabetically!)
- 1. The Beauty King Tomato
- 2. The Beauty Queen Tomato
- 3. The Big Rainbow Tomato
- 4. The Black Krim Tomato
- 5. The Copia Tomato
- 6. The Georgia Streak Tomato
- 7. The Green Zebra Tomato
- 8. The Hillbilly Flame Tomato
- 9. The Isis Candy Cherry Tomato
- 10. The Mr. Stripey Tomato
- 11. The Old German Tomato
- 12. The Pineapple Tomato
- 13. The Red Zebra Tomato
- 14. The Striped Cavern Tomato
- 15. The Striped Roman Tomato
- 16. The Tigerella Tomato
What Makes an Heirloom Tomato an Heirloom Tomato?
It’s super simple! Tomatoes that grow with a spectacular set of characteristics should be preserved. Heirloom varieties tend to be generations old, with their keepers consistently saving the seeds and replanting them each coming season to keep the family alive.
These characteristics usually start out as anomalies, but when they’re saved and grown again, they develop into unique and special varieties of tomatoes. It’s rather heartwarming to think of a tomato as being a great great great great great great great great-great-grandchild.
16 Types of Heirloom Tomato (Alphabetically!)
Don’t forget that tomatoes are fruits! Even though they’re packed with umami flavor, they somehow simultaneously have different grades of sweetness too!
1. The Beauty King Tomato
There’s a reason for this guy’s name. The king of tomatoes comes strutting with strikingly deep red and yellow stripes, with a hyper sweet and ultimately fruity flavor. These guys are quite heavy, fleshy, and widely shaped.
2. The Beauty Queen Tomato
How adorable, the beauty king has a partner! The beauty queen is very similar in shape and flavor profile as her counterpart, but she’s just a little bit smaller in size.
3. The Big Rainbow Tomato
This gorgeous tomato tends to grow into a hefty piece of fruit. With clearly developed shoulders and varying between glorious shades of yellow and light orange, this tomato would impress any onlooker. They’re a little bit more savory in flavor.
4. The Black Krim Tomato
This medium-sized tomato comes from the Black Sea, which gives it its name rather than the color. They can range from deep red to dark purple-ish black. Noticeable shoulders and a tangy flavor make them a unique variety.
5. The Copia Tomato
This is a newer hybrid of tomato that has very fine skin with an almost golden shimmer to it. The flesh inside is very umami flavored and juicy, with brilliant yellow accents inside.
6. The Georgia Streak Tomato
This is a variety of beefsteak tomato, but somehow even bigger. This big boy is impressively large and swollen with light red skin and yellow accents. There’s more flesh than juice, making for a very delicately flavored variety.
7. The Green Zebra Tomato
A very unique and stunning tomato, this variety will never turn a warm color. The flavor profile trends towards a more bitter and tangy flavor than sweet. The skin is a dizzying array of green stripes.
8. The Hillbilly Flame Tomato
An interesting name for a tomato, this variety tends to be more a squat and wide shape. The flesh is surprisingly meaty and rich with a sweeter profile. This is a hybrid that is resistant to calcium deficiencies (no cracked skin). The skin is a stunning yellow with rosy flames licking up the sides.
9. The Isis Candy Cherry Tomato
This variety can only be described as a blushing pear bride. This a very sweet and small cherry that grows unusually pear-shaped. With a more pale complexion, they are accented with pink blush marks.
10. The Mr. Stripey Tomato
This tomato comes in various sizes and colors but is notable for its flavor. This is a fairly low acid tomato and has a delicate flavor.
11. The Old German Tomato
The old german tomato is very characteristically heirloom appearing, with unusual shapes and divots and growths. A very meaty texture with few seeds, and a lovely array of deep reds to pale oranges.
12. The Pineapple Tomato
Quite similar is shape and gurth to the beefsteak tomato, the Pineapple tomato is named as so due to its yellow skin. Sometimes adorned with red marbling, this tomato is remarkably sweet and fruity.
13. The Red Zebra Tomato
A slight variance from the green zebra tomato, this variety is also quite small with amazing red streaks but tends to be much sweet than its green counterpart.
14. The Striped Cavern Tomato
This tomato looks quite similar to a red pepper in shape and details. The skin is vibrantly red with yellow streaks and possesses a mild and savory taste.
15. The Striped Roman Tomato
The striped roman tomato is shaped more like an eggplant than a tomato. Oblong and kind of thin, this tomato is meaty and lightly sweet with a red base and delicate yellow streaks running throughout.
16. The Tigerella Tomato
Quite appropriate for its name, this small and precious variety of tomato is colored like an animated tigress would be. This hybrid is resistant to disease and has a very sweet flavor profile.
Savanna Lentz hails from no place in particular. Having moved 30 times before the age of twenty, the constant change in environment has earned her expert status in all things homemaking. Whether it be interior painting and designing, baking, hosting charming dinner parties, or colour coating her collection of books, she is the cool kind of Stepford wife.
A double major in English Literature & Creative Writing has truly harnessed her ability for communication, and her knack for the strange and comedic has been read far and wide. Savanna loves contributing to any canon, from short fiction to music reviews, DIY projects to climbing lifestyle magazines. This multifaceted lady is a gemini ginger (oh god), and she has got something to say!