Not all Tomatoes Taste the Same! A Quick Guide to Tomato Flavors by Color


Red, orange, yellow, black, purple, and white tomatoes: do they taste the same? The short answer - no. Tomato flavors vary by color. But you probably already guessed that, right?

variety of colored tomatoes

If you’re new to gardening, odds are you want to try your hand at growing your own tomatoes. Nothing beats a fresh vine-ripened garden tomato, hot from the summer sun and bursting with flavor.

Heirloom tomatoes are especially prized for their beautiful variety of colors. If you’re wondering, yes, different colored tomatoes have different flavors. 

The mixture of sugars and acids in each tomato variety will create its unique flavor profile. But their colors will often give you a hint of what to expect.

While every tomato is different, there are a few general rules about tomato flavors by color. This guide will help you figure out what tomatoes you’d like to grow based on color.

Tomato Flavors by Color

Purple & Black

In our experience, purple and black tomatoes have a savory, salty flavor. They’re acidic and complex.

Some of the most popular home-grown tomatoes are in this category because of their intense flavor profile. The blue-black color indicates the presence of anthocyanins - a fancy word for the healthy blue pigment that colors blueberries, red cabbage, and purple potatoes.

Best Purple and Black Tomatoes

Mild White

On the other end of the color spectrum is the mild white tomato. These tomatoes aren’t really white but more of a pale yellow or green color. Their flavor is mild and delicate, with a slightly fruity flavor. Eat these tomatoes fresh, as their low acid levels don’t preserve as well as other tomatoes.

Best White Tomatoes


homestead tomato

Red tomatoes are the most familiar, delivering the classic tomato flavor. You can expect a balance of acid and sweetness with red tomatoes and a healthy dose of lycopene! Enjoy fresh, delicious sliced red tomatoes on a sandwich, or can them for later use.

Best Red Tomatoes


green tomatoes

Most tomatoes start off green, of course. A few stay green even through ripeness. True green tomatoes have a lower lycopene content than reds, but they retain their chlorophyll even when ripe. They’ve got a bright, tangy acidity that can add a zip to your dishes.

Best Green Tomatoes

Orange & Yellow

brandywine tomato

Orange and yellow tomatoes are sweet and fruity. Often people who aren’t tomato fans find that they do enjoy orange and yellow tomatoes, especially grape or cherry-sized varieties. Pop them in your mouth and enjoy the taste explosion!

Best Yellow Tomatoes

Best Orange Tomatoes

If you were a little overwhelmed at the sheer diversity of tomatoes available, hopefully, this guide helped you decide what you’re interested in growing. After you’ve had some success with your tomatoes, you’ll learn which ones tickle your tastebuds. 

A warning though: be prepared to become a little bit of a snob. You’ll never look at grocery store tomatoes without feeling a little sad about what could have been.

Plant some different colored tomatoes this year and explore the range of flavors.

Written by Teresa Chandler

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