Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tomato terminology

Here's a quick rundown on tomato lingo:

There's two main types of tomatoes to consider when cooking:
Plum, Sauce and Paste tomatoes refer to tomatoes that have a large amount of meat or flesh on the interior. These tomatoes are best for cooking into sauces as they won't break down into mostly water.
Slicer or beafsteak-type tomatoes refer to tomatoes that are best eaten fresh. When you cook they turn into mostly water rather than a sauce. They are very flavorful.

And there's two main types of tomatoes to consider when growing:
Determinate tomato varieties grow like a little bush. They will set a certain amount of fruit and then quit. People like to grow them because they are usually the first tomatoes of the season and if you need your tomatoes to be a little more confined.
Indeterminate grow on a vine that continues to grow and grow throughout the season. They can get very large and are best staked. Some people let them sprawl all over the ground, but I think its best to stake them in this climate due to the enormous slug population. The flavor of indeterminates tend to be better than indeterminate varieties and the yield can be higher. 

Okay, gardeners, anything I missed?