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They brighten up a drab salad, transform a pasta dish and give the perfect amount of juiciness to a sandwich. Yep, tomatoes might just be one of our favorite ingredients. But how do you know which one to use for what recipe? Here, our handy guide to six of the most popular tomato types.

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Cherry Tomatoes
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Cherry Tomatoes

Small and crisp, these versatile cuties are great to buy out of season since their miniature size means they contain less water and more flavor (because nobody likes an icy tomato). Pop them into salads raw for extra bite or release their juicy sweetness by slowly simmering or roasting. Creamy chicken, corn and tomato skillet, anyone?

Grape Tomatoes
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Grape Tomatoes

Crisp and crunchy, spot these guys at the supermarket from their oval (grape-like) shape. Juicy yet firm, these will hold their texture well, which makes them an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, roasting or even just snacking on their own. Top tip: The red varieties tend to be sweet while the yellow ones are a little tangier.

Heirloom tomatoes
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Heirloom Tomatoes

These summer beauties come in a variety of colors and textures and are full of flavor. Pick them up from your local farmers’ market and let them shine on their own by simply slicing and dressing with olive oil and a sprinkling salt. Want something a little more complex? Try ’em in a refreshing gazpacho or a savory tart

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Red Beefsteak Tomatoes
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Red Beefsteak Tomatoes

Big, meaty and very juicy, this is the tomato to grab when you’re making salsa or a caprese salad. Their high water content means they’re not ideal for cooking but their sturdiness and mild flavor make them a great addition to burgers and BLTs.

Green Beefsteak Tomatoes
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Green Beefsteak Tomatoes

Tarter than their red counterparts, green beefsteaks have a tanginess that pairs well with other ingredients in salsas, dips and sauces.

Plum Tomatoes
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Plum Tomatoes

Also known as Roma tomatoes, these guys are bigger than their cherry cousins but less meaty than beefsteaks. Thanks to their thin skins, low water and seed content, they’re excellent in sauces since they won’t add excess moisture, just delicious flavor.

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