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Produce Facts: Heirloom Tomatoes

Sep 15, 2016

heirloom tomato slices

Depending on variety, heirlooms can be a year-round item coming from North America and/or Mexico.

Due to their genetics, heirlooms are actually sweeter than other tomatoes. You will notice that they do not have the typical red color associated with tomatoes. In fact, they have a wide variety of colors from brown to multi-color (green, red and yellow).


  • Commercial - Varieties before 1940 or that have been around more than 50 years.
  • Family - As the name ‘heirloom’ indicates they are passed down from generation to generation.
  • Created - Occur from crossing an heirloom with another tomato variety or another heirloom. They are crossed and bred until the desired characteristics are achieved, and this can be a decade long process.
  • Mystery - Byproduct of different heirlooms varieties that naturally cross-pollinate one another.
  • Room temperature, never refrigerate or store in bags. Keep out of direct sunlight. They can be frozen after dicing.
Ways to enjoy
  • Pastas, sandwiches, salads, sauces and soups. Remember to wash and core prior to use.
It is actually hard to determine - refer to the four types of heirlooms above to gain a better understanding.

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