The main varieties of tomatoes are slicing tomatoes, paste tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, which are available as either vining or bush type plants. The three main varieties come in many colors, including red and pink, purple and black, orange and yellow, green, and white.
Slicing tomatoes are larger and more watery than other varieties. They work well for slicing or wedging for sandwiches and salads. Paste tomatoes have less juice and more meat, and work well for making tomato sauce, salsa and drying. Paste tomatoes make the best tomato juice because the juice from slicing tomatoes is too watery.
Cherry tomatoes are small bite-sized tomatoes. This group includes tomatoes labeled grape tomatoes or pear tomatoes. They are easy to snack on and look great on vegetable platters.
Vining tomatoes, also called indeterminate tomatoes, grow long vines and produce fruit for several weeks. These tomatoes are a good choice for having a steady supply of eating tomatoes for home use during the gardening season. Bush tomatoes, also called determinate tomatoes, grow in a low bush shape and produce a large volume of fruit all at once. This is a good choice to have a large amount of tomatoes ready at the same time for canning or freezing.