Cherry tomatoes, a popular snack and part of everyday food, can be traced back to Mexico, where all tomatoes were first grown. The Aztecs ate tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, but modern-day cherry tomatoes are based on a variety bred by British and Israeli scientists in the 1970s. They’re available year-round and are grown and eaten raw and cooked worldwide.
What are Cherry Tomatoes?
These are small types of tomatoes whose shape looks like a cherry, hence the name. The vegetable is sometimes sold on the vine. It can be about the size of a cherry or twice as big, and it can also be red, yellow, orange, green, or black. Chefs love these tomatoes because they are juicy and have thin skins. When you eat them, they pop into your mouth.
Cherry tomatoes are best in the summer, like other tomatoes, but because they are small, they can also be grown in a greenhouse and still taste and feel mostly the same. After a quick rinse, the cheap vegetable can be eaten as is, and it doesn’t need to be peeled, seeded, or even chopped.
How to Cook with Cherry Tomatoes?
To get cherry tomatoes ready, give them a good rinse and let them drain or pat them dry carefully. You can use the tomatoes whole, cut in half, or chopped in recipes. They are often eaten raw to keep their smooth texture and sweet, juicy taste. You can put them in salads, salsas, or as a snack on a platter of vegetables. They are an excellent addition to pasta dishes in the summer, whether cooked or not.
Cherry tomatoes lose some freshness and get a more prosperous, deeper taste when cooked. You can roast or sauté them whole or slice them and roast or sauté them. Because there is a lot of skin on them, they are not the best choice for tomato sauce or soup.
Try this tip if you need to cut a lot of them: Get the round lids from two-quart containers. Between the tops, put the tomatoes. Put one hand on the top of the container so that the tomatoes are sandwiched between them and the top, and use the other hand to run a serrated knife between the tops of the tomatoes to cut them in half.
Cherry Tomato Recipes
The Best Ways to Eat Cherry Tomatoes
These are tasty, whether they are raw or cooked. Plus, they are easy to grow at home and are often sold at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
Recipe Ideas for Raw Cherry Tomatoes
You can use raw cherry tomatoes in a variety of dishes, including:
- salads or lettuce cups
- sandwiches and wraps
- grilled skewers and kebabs
- pasta salads
- fresh pico de gallo
- tacos (for topping)
- Caprese salads
- yogurt (for topping)
- cottage cheese (for topping)
- charcuterie boards
What do Cherry Tomatoes Taste Like?
Cherry tomatoes taste the same as other fresh tomatoes, but their small size can strengthen the flavor. They are sweet and colorful, with thin, snappy skin and a juicy center. Some are sweeter or less strong than others. When they are cooked, their flavor gets more muscular, like when fresh tomatoes turn into tomato sauce.
Where to Buy Cherry Tomatoes?
Due to their small size, these tomatoes don’t lose as much flavor in hothouses as their larger cousins. They are also easy to find all year long. You can find them at your local grocery store in the same section as the other tomatoes that don’t need to be kept cold. Most of the time, they come in cartons that hold a pint and are priced per package. Local tomatoes are in season in the summer, and farmers’ markets often have a wide range of heirloom tomatoes.
Choose cherry tomatoes with bright, firm skins that smell like fresh tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes should smell how you want them to taste, just like any other kind of tomato. Avoid dark spots, wrinkles, and mold.
Cherry tomatoes are a fun summer crop to grow at home. The vegetables grow best in buckets with tomato cages around them and are usually ready to pick two months after being planted.
How to Store Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes taste best when they are at room temperature, and putting them in the fridge makes them taste bland and feel mealy. Please keep them in a bowl on the counter so it’s easy to grab a snack. They will last up to three days at room temperature.
If your house is a little warm and your tomatoes are just right, put them in the fridge for up to two days so they don’t get too ripe. Let them get back to room temperature before you use them or eat them. It’s not a good idea to freeze them.
Cherry Tomatoes vs. Grape Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes are both small types that can be found all year long. However, there are a few key differences between the two. Grape tomatoes are long and narrow, like grapes, which gave them their name. They have thicker skin and less water, making it easier to move and extending how long they can stay fresh.
This is why grocery stores tend to have more grape tomatoes than cherry tomatoes. Both can be used in recipes, but remember that cherry tomatoes have more juice and a thinner skin than grape tomatoes, so the results will be slightly different.
Health Benefits of Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are a healthy addition to your diet and can help you in several ways.
Cherry tomatoes may help fight oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in your body, and may be partly to blame for diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Naringin and naringenin are two nutrients found in cherry tomatoes that help fight disease in a big way. Flavonoids may be helpful because they fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.
It May Improve Heart Health
Plant chemicals in these tomatoes may protect the endothelial cells that line the walls of blood vessels from heart disease. They also keep your blood platelets from sticking together, which can cause blood clots and make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Also, lycopene may change how your body breaks down cholesterol and stores fat, which are critical for heart health.
Low levels of lycopene in the blood have been linked to a higher chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. In a study of more than 1,000 men, those with most of this compound in their blood were 55% less likely to have a stroke.
Also, the chlorogenic acid in these tomatoes may affect how fat is processed, and studies have shown that eating foods high in phenolic acid regularly may help lower blood pressure.
Last, eating more foods with potassium, like these, may lower the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. This is especially true when you switch out foods high in sodium for those high in potassium.
It May Boost Anticancer Properties
Cherry tomatoes may be able to fight cancer, especially breast and prostate cancers.
A 2013 review found that eating a lot of raw or cooked tomatoes was linked to a slight drop in the rate of prostate cancer.
Also, a review from 2012 found a link between higher blood levels of beta carotene, one of the main carotenoids in cherry tomatoes, and a lower risk of breast cancer.
Still, there needs to be more research.
May Promote Skin Health
As you age, ultraviolet (UV) light can make your skin dry, wrinkle, and change color, among other things.
Cherry tomatoes, which have carotenoids, polyphenols, and antioxidants, may help protect you from the harmful effects of UV light by keeping your skin moist and regulating signaling pathways, among other ways.
Again, lycopene and beta-carotene, the two primary carotenoids in cherry tomatoes, play a significant role.
What are the Varieties of Cherry Tomatoes?
Many kinds of these tomatoes vary in size, color, and shape. People like Sungold tomatoes because they have a beautiful golden color, juicy flesh, and a bright flavor. Black cherry tomatoes have a striking color and sometimes taste like smoke. Most grocery stores sell red cherry tomatoes, but you can also find heirloom varieties at farmers’ markets or specialty markets or grow them at home. In most recipes, you can switch between different kinds of cherry tomatoes.
Downsides of Cherry Tomatoes
Some groups may need to be careful about eating them.
May Cause Allergic Reactions
Even though it is rare, it is possible to be allergic to these tomatoes or any other kind of tomato.
If you have a tomato allergy, you might get rashes, itchiness, sneezing, stomach pains, or even anaphylaxis, which is when your airways close.
People with grass, pollen, or latex allergies may be more likely to be allergic to tomatoes.
It May Cause Acid Reflux
Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are both caused by chronic acid reflux, which happens when the muscles in the esophagus keep acid from moving backward from the stomach up into the esophagus and get weaker.
These tomatoes and other acidic foods may make acid reflux worse.
So, people with GERD or severe acid reflux might not want to eat them or should limit how much they eat.
It May be Contaminated with Salmonella
These tomatoes can become contaminated with Salmonella in the same way that many other types of food can.
Salmonella is a dangerous bacteria that can make you sick from eating bad food. Symptoms of Salmonella include fever and stomach pain.
Salmonella is most likely to cause serious illness in young children, older adults, and people whose immune systems aren’t as strong.
One of the best ways to avoid getting sick from food is to carefully rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables with water before eating them.
These tomatoes are a small but nutrient-rich fruit that is great for snacks, salads, pasta, and more. They have more antioxidants than other tomatoes, which may help protect against cancer, heart disease, and skin damage. Because of allergies or acid reflux, some people might be unable to eat them. Other than that, eating these fruits or any tomato is a great way to get the disease-fighting benefits of these foods.