Tender Profile | Tomatoes



Botanical name/plant family: Solanum lycopersicum


Important practices: Buy organic tomatoes whenever possible, tomatoes are one of the fruits/vegetables that has the highest amount of pesticide residue on their skin. Always wash before eating!


Harvest season: Summer


Great source of*: Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A


Storage methods: When I am ripe, I am best stored on a countertop at room temperature away from direct sunlight. If I am not yet ripe, keep me stem side down in a cardboard box or paper bag in a cool place until I turn red.


Cooking methods: I am wonderful raw on sandwiches or in salads, though I also am an important ingredient in a variety of soups and sauces. Roasting helps to bring out my natural flavors!


World cuisines: European, South American, North American


Pairings: I pair very well with flavors such as basil, oysters, balsamic vinegar, gruyere and mozzarella cheeses, garlic, and more!


Fun Fact:

  • Though the tomato is technically a fruit, in 1883 the US Supreme Court ruled that it is legally a vegetable because of the way it is commonly used.

  • Returning Spanish colonists introduced the tomato to Europe in the 1500s, but in North America the tomato was thought to be poisonous until 1820 when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson ate one on the steps of the Salem, New Jersey courthouse.

Cherry Tomatoes

Botanical name/plant family: Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme


Important practices: The Environmental Workers Group ranks cherry tomatoes 13th on their Pesticide in Produce guide, we suggest buying organic cherry tomatoes!


Harvest season: I am sweetest and juiciest when harvested from July to late September.

Great source of*: Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A

Storage methods: Like all tomatoes, I don’t do well in the cold! Keep me at room temperature for peak flavor and texture (I can get mealy in the fridge)



Cooking methods: If you can resist eating all of the cherry tomatoes raw, you can slow roast for sweet and savory flavor, saute, throw on the grill for some flavorful char, or sauce them!


World cuisines: Italian, American and Mexican cuisine


Pairings: I am sweet, juicy and ready to mix and match with many different types of cheeses, greens, and pastas! I am very receptive to garlic, and onions.  


Fun Fact:

  • There are more than 7500 tomato varieties grown around the world

  • A “tomato fight” happens every year in the small Spanish town of Bunol, where about 40,000 people gather and throw an estimated 150,000 tomatoes

  • People used to be afraid of eating tomatoes due to their relation to the belladonna

Featured Tomato Recipes