The Difference Between Plum & Roma Tomatoes

Listen, folks. There are A LOT of tomato varieties. And if you think you know the half of it, I assure you there's a whole other half you haven't even uncovered yet. Of course, there are likely a few tomato connoisseurs out there who have devoted a generous amount of time to learning the length list of varieties and have maybe even tried their hand at growing some exotic varieties at home, or searched the land far and wide to find a local farmer who is specializing in a wide array of tomato varieties.

No matter where you are on the tomato knowledge or love scale, there is definitely an advantage to knowing the differences between some of the more common varieties, especially since their features can really dictate best method for preparation (canning, stewing, freezing, saucing, etc.) and, inevitably, enjoyment.

The Roma and the plum tomato are two widely popular tomatoes in Pennsylvania and are often a hot topic when it comes to variety distinction. So, what's the deal...

Are roma tomatoes and plum tomatoes the same thing?

Yes. And no. The plot thickens!

In short, the Roma tomato is one of the famous varieties that falls under the plum tomato type. It is also called as Italian plum tomato.

So they are on different levels when it comes to categorical identification. The roma is a type of plum, but not all plums are romas. The plum versus roma confusion may have developed since the roma is known for being one of the most commercially produced and distributed plum tomatoes, thus the lines just kind of blurred as the popularity grew and other plums were less likely to appear in stores, at markets, etc.

Some other popular plum tomatoes include San Marzano, Ropreco Paste, Amish Paste, and Big Mama. In general, plum tomatoes are known as the best tomatoes for making sauce or paste.

Want to learn more about plum tomatoes? As always, we recommend going to the experts - your farmers and local food warriors!