HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What do you think of Roma tomatoes?

That's all, unless I misspelled tomatoes ( and also misspelled misspell)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Love 'em. Easy to peel, lots of flesh, few seeds, many uses in sauces, stews, soups.

      1. I've been putting them in the smoker for a while now. Smoke for 40 minutes and then continue at about 225 for a few hours. I then freeze separately and then into a zipping bag. Simply the best.

        Otherwise I turn to them in the offseason when others are a real waste of money. I'll slice ahead and drizzle with some oo, s&p and it gives them some flavor.

        1. Store bought ones tend to not taste like much but home grown or from the farmers market they can be very good. Their "meatiness" holds up well in preps where they are handled a lot.

          1. Love them roasted and/or in sauce.
            Sliced and baked on pizza---yum!

            Grow them yourself or procure them at your local farmers' market. The Roma tomatoes available at the local mega-mart tend to be mealy and tasteless.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pedalfaster

              <<The Roma tomatoes available at the local mega-mart tend to be mealy and tasteless.>>

              that is normally because the ones at the local mart have been refrigerated somewhere along the line from plant to store

              1. re: westsidegal

                And picked before they're ripe (either green or as "breakers.") Even though the color changes, the flavor does not develop like it would if vine ripened.

            2. People seem to regard them as needing some sort of cooking but I like them sliced in tossed salads. I don't mind that they are firmer and less juicy than round tomatoes. Some seasons, they have more flavor than round tomatoes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                I agree wholeheartedly. They "keep" very well, so I always have a couple on hand for salads. They're versatile--good in quick pasta sauces, good roasted, and good chunked raw onto a chopped salad. They're also (in my experience) pretty easy to grow. This might be because the local seedlings are good; I haven't attempted growing them from seed.

              2. generally the store bought ones are watery, mealy tomato-shaped-objects - without cooking inedible IMO

                fresh seasonal farmers market ones are good for making sauce

                I find them to be frustrating to grow in my garden however

                1. I cook with Romas -- they break down nicely in sauces and curries.

                  I use cluster tomatoes, grape or beeftsteaks for sandwiches and salads.

                  1. I grow them, as they are excellent for bruschetta and salsa. I never buy them.

                    1. They hold well and are fine for baked tomatoes---just cut them in half and put them in the oven for the last half-hour of whatever else you have in the oven for dinner. Romas in the winter are not Beefsteaks in the summer, but they are here and this week they were 79 cents lb. Tonight I chopped one up and put it in the guacamole.

                      1. Mostly notable for having a high flesh-to-pulp ratio. I think technically they are an American variety of plum tomatoes, but many people use the terms 'roma' and 'plum' tomatoes interchangeably.

                        Storebought fresh romas are often flavorless. If you grow your own, buy (certain) canned ones, or have a particularly good source, they can be delicious and relatively versatile.

                        Because of their high flesh-to-pulp ratio, they roast well. And they are often cooked into sauces. Some people claim that plum tomatoes (or often, more specifically, san marzano tomatoes - a plum tomato closely related to the roma) are the ONLY tomatoes which can make a good sauce. This is nonsense, but it's relatively common cooking myth.

                        1. i don't intend to downgrade Romas, they are a standard paste tomato and often the only one available in groceries.
                          But if you grow your own, varieties like Rutgers, Opalka and many Oxhearts not only are considerably larger, but are also as meaty as Romas and have what many people consider a superior flavor.

                          1. I love Roma tomatoes: great for paste, but also great just cut up in salad. I love how they're a bit less juicy and firmer without losing flavor or being dry and mealy.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Wawsanham

                              It's interesting re moisture. The ones that I smoke and then freeze, exude a HUGE amount of liquid upon thawing.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Well, they're not completely dry :) I also think that anything that is thawed exudes more moistered than if it had even been frozen to begin with.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  freezing breaks down/damages the cell walls.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    That's certainly the explanation. Thanks. The taste is superior but definitely not for a salad.

                              2. I prefer them for certain applications such as oven-dried with a sprinkle of sea salt, and thyme then drizzled with EVOO. Also grilled as an accompaniment to Persian kabab koobideh. I like them in panzanella salad, and assorted bruschetta recipes.

                                1. I bought 6 yesterday mostly because they looked pretty. I only had grape&cherry tomatoes at home-wanted to make guac but the avo's were rock hard&tiny,
                                  I'll slice a couple up tonight for hubs burger patty and my salad

                                  1. I use them for cooking. I put them in soups and stews. I leave the seeds in and the skin on. Why do people take the seeds out? Lots of lycopene in them.

                                    1. The good in-season farmer's market ones get run through my magical Italian tomato mill that sends the skins and seeds over there and the ground pulp into the bowl, ready to make sauce from. The mostly flavor-free store-bought ones I cut the tops off, scoop out and discard juice, goo and seeds, then use them as the red element in dishes such as my green-curry/coconut tofu/vegetable stew or added to mac'n'cheese, along with poblano strips.

                                      1. When they are really ripe I love to use them in Clafoutis with fresh herbs. It is a ice side dish in the summer. The recipe I use is in Patricia Wells book on cooking in Provence.