Here are the differences between the two types of tiny tomatoes.
Here at Southern Living, we're crazy for fresh tomatoes. Grilled cheese is made for them, salads beg for them, and pasta salads practically require them. When it comes to cherry and grape tomatoes, you may be using the terms interchangeably, but it turns out there are some slight — but important — differences to bear in mind. Chef Rich LaMarita of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City breaks it down for us.
First things first, let's talk shape. “Cherry tomatoes are round in shape, like a cherry," says LaMarita (the tomatoes pictured above are cherry tomatoes). In general, cherry tomatoes are softer than their grape tomato counterparts with a squishy texture that almost pops in your mouth when you first bite down on one.
Cherry tomatoes are sweet with a nuanced flavor and have a fairly short shelf-life ("They are quite delicate!"). So what should you do with them? “Cherry tomatoes are an invaluable ingredient in salads, kebabs, quick sauces, and for roasting," says LaMarita.
Meanwhile, grape tomatoes (pictured directly above), have a more oblong, oval-like shape, much like — yes — a grape. “Grape tomatoes have a thicker, meatier, and chewier texture than a cherry tomato," notes LaMarita, and they aren't as sweet and delicately flavored as cherry tomatoes, though you can expect the taste to vary from batch to batch.
“Grape tomatoes are also excellent for salads, kebabs, quick sauces, and for roasting," adds LaMarita. One bonus of grape tomatoes: "Grape tomatoes tend to have a longer shelf life than cherry tomatoes due to their slightly tougher skin," says LaMarita.
WATCH: Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Basil Ice Cream
Bottom line? Both are wonderful staples of a Southern kitchen and you can typically swap one type of tomato for the other in a recipe, with one exception: Stuffing. For stuffing purposes, cherry tomatoes are the way to go.
Happy slicing, roasting, and skewing, kitchen maestros.