There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes -everything from tiny grape and cherry tomatoes to large heirloom Brandywines. It is also botanically a fruit but considered a vegetable. Different tomatoes are best for different uses. Beefsteaks are some of the largest tomatoes and good for slicing; Romas are good for sauces; little tomatoes are good for salads. Tomatoes are full of vitamin C, lycopene, vitamin C, biotin, and vitamin K. Some of the types available farmers' market include:
Heirloom: Generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down through several generations of a family because of its valued characteristics. Some varieties have been cultivated for over 100 years. Each variety is truly unique, exhibiting a special taste, color, texture, or shape. Many varieties do not travel well because of their thin skins and have a shorter shelf life than conventional tomatoes, but they are ideally suited to be grown by the small farmer who can quickly bring them to market once they are fully ripe. Taste is the main motivation for purchasing heirlooms. They are not always pretty tomatoes, as they have unique forms and shapes, but the flavor will win you over.
Hothouse: Usually grown in a hothouse to be available most of the year. This can include those tomatoes that are labeled “vine-ripened.”
Cherry/Grape/Pear: Small tomatoes that grow in groups on the vine. The average size is about an inch with a sweet, condensed tomato flavor.