7 Essential Heirloom Tomato Varieties Slideshow

Cherokee Purple

Jane Bruce

A very large beefsteak variety that is purple or very dark red. It has a deep flavor and firm, dense texture that stands up to slicing. Serve with brined cheeses such as feta or with a sweet drizzle of honey.

Similar varieties include Black Krim.

Marvel Stripe

flickr/blockwork

A large beefsteak variety that is yellow with an interior blush. It’s mild, sweet, and fruity with low acidity; juicy and soft. Wonderful for gazpacho, drizzled with balsamic vinegar as a tomato relish, or with earthy clothbound Cheddar cheese.

Similar varieties include Striped German and Georgia Streak.

Brandywine

Jane Bruce

This large beefsteak variety can be pink or yellow. It is sweet with low acidity and is considered a "slicing" tomato with excellent texture. It’s perfect for sandwiches, used as the base of a fresh summer salad, or combined with the creamy saltiness of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Similar varieties include Pruden’s Purple.

Evergreen

flickr/eskimo_jo

Medium to large, this beefsteak variety is green even when ripe. It's mild and sweet, so try making tomato preserves, a sandwich with triple-crème Brie and baguette, or breading and frying slices for fried green tomatoes.

Similar varieties include Green Giant.

Black Prince

flickr/Elle_Ann

A medium-sized, round globe variety that can be purple or very dark red. Deep and sweetly flavored with firm texture. Sprinkle wedges with vinaigrette and fresh herbs for a simple treat, or pair with Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue to match the tomato’s sweetness with a wonderful blue cheese.

Similar varieties include Japanese Black Truffle.

Sun Gold

flickr/FarOutFlora

Small and dark yellow or almost orange. Tangy and sweet, it’s perfect for an anytime snack, tossing into quick salads, baking on pizzas and flatbreads, and serving with Parrano cheese.

Similar varieties include Yellow Grape.

Black Cherry

flickr/jennconspiracy

Small and purple or dark red. It’s very sweet and great in salads, roasted whole, baked into focaccia, and served with Monterey Jack for a cream-of-tomato soup flavor combination.

Similar varieties include Pink Cherry, Red Grape, and Red Pear.