Key Differences Between Cherry vs Grape Tomatoes

Key Differences Between Cherry vs Grape Tomatoes

It’s no secret that tomato enthusiasts like me like to grow different types of tomatoes in our garden. This year I have regular tomatoes like Apollo, larger tomatoes like Black Russian, and heirloom tomatoes like cherry and grape varieties. I even have a Roma tomato plant. So, what key differences are there between cherry vs grape tomatoes?

While I love the taste of all of the tomato varieties I’m growing, there are subtle differences between cherry and grape tomatoes in both texture and taste. Of course, their shape also varies slightly. This is usually the easiest way to tell these apart.

The Differences Between Cherry And Grape Tomatoes

two images showing cherry tomatoes on the left and grape tomatoes on the right

Both of these types of tomatoes could be considered bite-sized tomatoes. They’re small enough to just pop into your mouth in one go and enjoy that sweet flavor and juicy tomato taste.

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But, to help you distinguish between these two little tomatoes, here are some of the key differences.

Shape Of Tomatoes

While cherry tomatoes are perfectly round, just like a cherry, grape tomatoes have an oval shape, just like a grape. In other words, grape tomatoes have a more elongated shape while cherry tomatoes have a perfectly round shape.

Consider too, that other tomato varieties can come in different shapes as well. For example, big tomatoes like beefsteak tomatoes can often have an unusual or irregular shape while Roma tomatoes have a more oblong shape. 

In fact, you’ll find that grape tomatoes look very much like a smaller version of Roma tomatoes.

two photos showing cherry tomatoes on the left and grape tomatoes on the right

Differences In Flavour

There are also subtle flavour differences between cherry and grape tomatoes.

While grape tomatoes are sweet and full of that rich tomato flavour that we love, they also have a slight tartness to them or a more tangy flavor.

On the other hand, cherry tomatoes are just sweet and juicy.

Differences In Texture

Once again, the texture differences are also quite subtle but they are noticeable.

In essence, grape tomatoes have a meatier texture that is slightly crunchy. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, have a lovely crisp texture that’s full of juicy goodness. 

You’ll also often find that grape tomatoes have a slightly thick skin while cherry tomatoes have thin skins in comparison. 

The slightly thinner skins on cherry tomatoes gives them that crisp crunch when you pop one into your mouth and bite down on it. And, the slightly higher water content makes them extra juicy.

Seed Content

Gardeners who like to collect their own seeds so that they can grow the same varieties again the following year will be interested in the differences in seed content of these types of tomatoes.

For this reason, you’ll be interested to learn that grape tomatoes have a much higher seed count than cherry tomatoes. When you cut open a grape tomato, you’ll see a large amount of tiny seeds scattered throughout the entire fruit.

On the other hand, while cherry tomatoes still contain plenty of seeds, their seed count is much lower and the seeds are usually larger and more concentrated.

The Similarities Between Grape And Cherry Tomatoes

a bowl of different cherry and grape tomatoes on a wooden table

While there are slight differences between grape and cherry tomatoes, there are also similarities such as their size. 

In fact, the size of cherry tomatoes is almost the same as the size of grape tomatoes. That’s why they’re often confused with each other. However, you might find that sometimes grape tomatoes are just a little smaller than cherry tomatoes.

But did you know that these are not the smallest type of tomatoes that you can grow? There’s one type of tomato growing in my garden that seems to self-seed itself every year.  I’m not sure of the name because I’ve never actually planted it.

This tomato plant never fails to produce the most abundant harvest of tiny tomatoes that are amazingly sweet and juicy. I think it might be similar to the Tiny Tim variety. 

Even though the fruits are only the size of a pea, it’s definitely one you should consider growing just for the most delicious sweet and juicy tomato flavour.

And then, there are the cocktail tomatoes and plum tomatoes. These are slightly larger than cherry or grape tomatoes but are also packed with flavour. I have some yellow cocktail tomatoes growing in my garden and they have a much softer texture.

No matter which type or variety of tomato that you decide to grow, they’ll all provide the same health benefits and nutritional value. Plus, they’ll fill your meals with a distinctive flavour.

Both Cherry And Grape Tomatoes Come In A Variety Of Colors

a selection of cut in half cherry and grape tomatoes in a range of different colours

If you grow your own tomatoes, you’ll know that they aren’t just red. You can get orange tomatoes, green tomatoes, pink tomatoes and even yellow tomatoes.

And, you’ll find varieties of both grape and cherry tomatoes with these strikingly different colors. 

Every year, I do like to mix up the colours as it makes for a much more interesting-looking salad.

One of the varieties of cherry tomatoes I’m growing is a gorgeous deep red in colour but I do know that you can even get varieties that are almost black. I’ve also grown green-striped cherry tomatoes in the past.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so enthusiastic about growing my own tomatoes because if you go to buy them in a greengrocer. grocery store or supermarket, you’re usually limited to red cherry tomatoes and red grape tomatoes.

Of course, nothing can beat the delectable flavour of homegrown tomatoes. I’m always sad when the tomato-growing season is over because then I’m forced to buy them and it’s just not the same.

What Are Some Common Ways To Use Cherry And Grape Tomatoes?

a bowl with lovely halved grape tomatoes with a vinaigrette dressing and a parsley garnish with a fork

One of my favourite ways to use these delectable tomato varieties is to simply cut them in half and throw them into a salad. Cutting them in half makes them a little easier to eat and avoids the mess of tomato juice going everywhere when you bite into a cherry tomato. 

Lately, I’ve enjoyed popping them into a salad with some cooked pasta, some sliced-up cucumber (homegrown, of course) and lots of mayo. I also enjoy tossing them into a warm potato salad along with some diced hard-boiled eggs. This is a great way to get a healthy dose of vitamin C in your diet.

I also like using these tasty fruits in all sorts of pasta dishes. Grape tomatoes, in particular, do hold their shape quite well so they can make a great addition to any type of creamy pasta dish. They can certainly add some colour and delicious flavour to your cooking.

Want to know more about growing tomatoes? Here are some articles that might interest you.

Should You Mulch Tomatoes?

How Long Does It Take Tomatoes To Grow?

How To Grow Tomatoes On A Balcony

Best Potting Soil For Tomatoes

Did You Know That You Can Grow Tomatoes From Cuttings?

Should You Use Baking Soda For Tomato Plants?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you substitute grape and cherry tomatoes in your recipes?

Absolutely! Both cherry and grape tomatoes are full of flavour and there’s no reason why you simply can’t substitute them in your favourite recipes.

Which tomato types have a longer shelf-life – cherry or grape tomatoes?

Because grape tomatoes have a slightly thicker skin, they also have a slightly longer shelf life. But, unless you’ve covered your entire garden with tomato plants, I find it best just to harvest what I need when I need it. If you do have to harvest more than you can use, just pop them into an airtight container and place them in the crisper section of your fridge. 

What are three interesting facts about grape tomatoes?

Grape tomatoes are sweet with a hint of tartness. They have a slightly meaty texture and a lower water content than other small tomato varieties.

What are three fun facts about cherry tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes have been grown since the early 1800s. They’re sweet, juicy and just the right size to pop into your mouth whole. If you’re not careful though, you’ll have tomato juice running down your chin when you bite down on a cherry tomato.

Are cherry and grape tomatoes easy to grow?

You’ll find that both cherry and grape tomatoes are amazingly easy to grow. They also produce a much larger crop than regular-sized tomatoes. I often find that even when my regular varieties have stopped cropping at the end of the season, my small tomatoes just continue to give and give.

Do cherry tomatoes grow on indeterminate vines?

Yes, both grape and cherry tomatoes grow on indeterminate vines. This means that they’ll need staking but you’ll continue to get a good harvest for months.

Is the lifespan of a cherry tomato plant shorter or longer than regular tomatoes?

I find that cherry and grape tomato plants usually have a longer lifespan than regular tomato plants such as beefsteak, Apollo, Roma or black Russian. They usually continue to fruit well into autumn (fall).

Which are better – cherry or grape tomatoes?

Essentially, this comes down to personal preference. I love them both and can appreciate the subtle differences between the two.

Final Thoughts

Cherry and grape tomato varieties are definitely ones you should consider growing in your garden. They’ll give you lots of juicy bite-sized tomatoes that you can throw into salads or your favourite pasta dishes.

While quite similar, the best way to tell these two types of tomatoes apart is to consider their name. Cherry tomatoes are round like a cherry while grape tomatoes are more elongated like a grape.

But, both are equally delicious and a joy to have in the garden throughout the warmer months.

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