By Erin Marissa Russell
QUESTION: What makes a tomato a cherry tomato? I see seeds and plants described as cherry tomatoes all the time, but I’m not quite sure what it takes to qualify as a cherry tomato. — Lauren K.
ANSWER: The most significant difference between cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes is their size. (Cherry tomatoes are, on average, an inch or two across.) However, there are a few other ways that these two types of tomato plants differ, such as how they’re used, how they taste, and what their nutritional benefits are.
Facts About Cherry Tomatoes
- While other tomatoes can be oblong or grape-shaped, true cherry tomatoes are perfectly circular.
- When it comes to taste, cherry tomatoes are extremely juicy and have a flavor that is bright, sweet, and tart. Cherry tomatoes are known to squirt when bitten into.
- Cherry tomatoes are normally eaten raw, whole or halved, in salads and appetizers. Cooked, you’ll find them roasted or in recipes for compote and sautes.
- Red cherry tomatoes are the most commonplace, but you may also see cherry tomatoes in yellow, green, or black.
Facts About Tomatoes
- Unlike cherry tomatoes, which are perfectly round, tomatoes can be more of an oval shape.
- While larger tomatoes will still be juicy, they don’t have quite the juiciness of a cherry tomato.
- Often used raw and sliced on a sandwich or burger, tomatoes can also be added to sauces and other cooked dishes.
Cherry Tomatoes Versus Tomatoes: Nutrition Differences
- Cherry tomatoes and tomatoes are fairly well-matched when it comes to the calories and dietary fiber.
- Cherry tomatoes have a bit more protein per serving than regular tomatoes.
- Regular tomatoes have more carbohydrates per serving than cherry tomatoes.
- Cherry tomatoes have more sugars per serving than regular tomatoes.
As you can see, there are plenty of differences between cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes if you look closely enough. However, you can substitute cherry tomatoes for regular tomatoes and vice versa in most recipes. Just be advised that cherry tomatoes will be a bit more juicy than other types of tomato would be. Do not try to substitute regular tomatoes for cherry tomatoes, or the other way around, in recipes where the shape and size of the tomato is important, such as in stuffed tomatoes or skewered cherry tomatoes.