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Grape vs cherry tomatoes

What is the difference? I did a Google search but am still confused. I am mostly confused by the fact that most sites mentioned that grape tomatoes are smaller than cherry tomatoes which can be fairly large in fact. In the grocery store, it seems I always see the larger oblong tomatoes which I assumed were grape and then smaller rounder tomatoes which I thought were cherry. Is it perhaps that both are grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are fairly rare find in the grocery store and not in the same area as the piles of grape tomatoes that always seemed to be lined up? I assume that the most people don't know the difference and use them interchangeably which could also be part of the confusion.

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  1. Shape, size and taste.

    Cherry tomatoes are round, sweet and have a thin skins (and are usu. pretty juicy).

    Grapes are oblong, less sweet than Cherries, and have thicker skins.

    1. " Is it perhaps that both are grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are fairly rare find in the grocery store and not in the same area as the piles of grape tomatoes that always seemed to be lined up?"

      In areas I have lived packaged cherry tomatoes are readily found. Packaged grape tomatoes have become relatively easy to find over the past 10 years.

      You mention piles of grape tomatoes...any chance these are Roma tomatoes? I ask because I have never come across cherry or grape tomatoes which were not in some sort of container - even at farmers markets. They are so small and the stems catch together easily that they would not do well stacked like larger tomatoes.

      Re: size - I've seen cherry tomatoes range from marble to ping pong ball size. I've never seen grape tomatoes larger than, well, a grape!

      2 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        By piles, I meant piles of plastic containers filled with grape tomatoes which never seem to have stems.

      2. I agree with Ipsedixit, but would add that I find grape tomatoes somewhat tangy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CanadaGirl

          ditto -- they seem more acidic than cherry tomatoes.

        2. Regardless of the semantics, both "grape" & "cherry" tomatoes can be used interchangeably in recipes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bacardi1

            Yup, more just a question of difference out of interest. Im not a fan of cooked tomatoes which still maintain structure vs tomato sauces and such so they are always raw to me and by far prefer grape tomatoes.

          2. There are hundreds if not thousands of tomato varieties.
            There are quite a few grape and cherry varieties also. Each have their own flavours, sizes, colours etc. Buy the ones you like to eat.

            1. Interesting answers. I don't actually like cherry tomatoes and I've found them, generally, to be bland and "squirty." Most grape tomatoes, the ones I love and can eat by the handful, are half the size of the cherry tomatoes with which I'm most familiar.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Violatp

                +1. I love a good pop of a grape tomatoes thrown into my mouth.

                1. re: Violatp

                  i like the campari brand/variety -- they are not so squirty, and have a good, balanced sweetness/acidity. their skins aren't tough, either.

                  1. re: Violatp

                    The supermarket ones can definitely be that way, but if you grow your own, they're wonderful!!

                    1. re: Bacardi1

                      My thumb - she is not green. :-(

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        Right on, Bacardi! Commercial tomatoes are often bred not for taste, but to be resistant to bruising during shipping, and are picked green so they ripen on the way to the market. You don't need a green thumb to grow your own tomatoes, Viola (mine is definitely tannish), and cherry/grape/currant tomatoes are often easier to grow than standard sizes. If you don't want to get into that, go to a farmer's market and ask for SunGold, Black Cherry, Riesentraube, or (dozens of) other great-tasting varieties.

                        1. re: DonShirer

                          Yup - I even grow tomatoes - cherries included - in pots on my deck. They grow like weeds with very little care outside of consistent watering.

                          1. re: DonShirer

                            I can grow other things, but not tomatoes. I've tried. I end up buying them at the farmer's market, eat fresh, and freeze for winter.

                      2. Can anyone comment on the plastic-like skins that develop on grape tomatoes and the Naturesweet Cherub tomatoes when they are heated? I love the sweetness of their flavor when tossed with pasta, basil and olive oil but can't figure out how to avoid the plastic skins.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mofisch

                          Probably best to take their skins off altogether if it bothers you. I think you just dunk them in boiling water, then straight into icy water, and the skins should come off easily.

                        2. Cherry tomatoes used to be excellent. Sweet, juicy, but a nuisance to eat since if you weren't careful they would squirt out of your mouth. They were available in small sizes like large marbles, and ones that were about an inch in diameter. Always round.

                          Grape tomatoes are smaller, firmer, more acidic, and have less flavor. They are also much more difficult to grow and harvest. They require around eight times more manpower and effort.

                          I can't understand how what I consider to be an inferior product like grape tomatoes pushed out the cherry tomatoes of my childhood. And when you find cherry tomatoes now they are not as good as they were 15-20 years ago, and rot faster.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: JMF

                            Wonder if the variety you remember from your youth was more like the original variety of tomato - Solanum Pimpinellifolium (think it's also called currant and spoon tomato), rather than today's more common Solanum Lycopersicum?

                            I've got some growing in my garden - the flavour is much more intense.

                            1. re: JMF

                              I totally agree JMF. I am not a fan of grape tomatoes at all, store bought or home grown. To me they are like little Roma tomatoes, not great for fresh eating except salsa/bruschetta, (Romas-not grapes). The skins are too thick and the insides too dry for salads. Love cherries from my garden, store bought don't last long unless I refrigerate (ick).

                            2. Been a long time since I've seen a cherry tomato in the store.

                              Grape tomatoes are all I'm seeing these days. FWIW, I find grape tomatoes to be sweeter than the cherry tomatoes we use to get. Of course a side by side taste test would be needed to confirm

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                me too. this thread has been confusing me. I have usually found (but not always) the grape tomatoes to be sweeter.

                                1. re: laliz

                                  I have never yet had a grape tomato that wasn't tart, too firm, and with no juiciness. Never had one that was sweet or with any nice tomato taste to it.

                              2. Grape tomatoes are less prone to bursting and spraying when biting into them, but you give up on taste. Also cherry tomatoes make a cooking ingredient something I don't with the grape tomato variety. I think Supermarkets prefer selling grape tomatoes because they last on the shelf longer and if they fall out can be put back in the container without getting bruised.