Fruits that look like tomatoes, but aren’t really, including pumello, mirabolano, and gem squash.
For some reason, it was really hard to find a list of fruits that look similar to tomatoes online. I spent a while looking at lists, and they were all wrong. After spending over 30 minutes trying to find a good list, I came up with this one instead.
Did you know that Pumkin is a fruit? Or that there are many more fruits that are secretly related to tomatoes? These fruits do not just look like tomatoes, they taste like it too.
WHAT FRUIT LOOKS LIKE A TOMATO? PLUS 8 FRUITS THAT LOOK AND TASTE SIMILAR TO TOMATOES
If you love tomatoes, you’re probably eager to discover other foods similar to them. Are you ready to discover other fruits like tomato that you can enjoy? Then read on! We’ve put together a list of 8 different varieties you’re going to love. We’ll also answer common questions that people have on the subject.
WHAT IS THE FRUIT THAT LOOKS LIKE A TOMATO BUT IS NOT A TOMATO?
The most common fruit that looks like a tomato is called a persimmon. Persimmons are small and orange in color with a stem coming out of the top that looks similar to a tomato picked off the vine.
However, these two taste nothing alike. Persimmons are less savory than tomatoes and have a honey-like flavor. In terms of the inner texture of persimmons, they can best be compared to peaches or apricots. Perhaps most unusual (and different to tomatoes), persimmons have tough skin that is comparable to granny smith apples or hard Barlett pears.
FRUITS SIMILAR TO TOMATOES (LOOK OR TASTE)
These look like slightly smaller versions of tomatoes, and with good cause! They’re tomato relatives; part of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, and amazingly tasty. You can find them in various shades of red, orange, green, and purple, and they can be eaten raw or cooked.
Use fresh, acidic green tomatillos to make a vibrant salsa verde. Alternatively, cook down darker varieties to make richly flavored sauces and stews.
Also called “ground cherries” or “husk cherries”, these fruits are also part of the nightshade family. This makes them cousins to tomatoes and tomatillos, as well as eggplants, and both hot and sweet peppers. These can be eaten raw, or used in various baked goods.
Just note that like other nightshade plant family members, the raw stems and leaves can be quite toxic. Some people develop a rash from handling them, and eating them can cause some pretty uncomfortable health effects. Wait until the fruits are an intense hue, and their husk-like coverings are brown and papery before harvesting.
Speaking of eggplants, these gorgeous fruits are mostly prepared in savory dishes. This is why they’re often mis-categorized as vegetables. While tomatoes can be eaten raw, eggplants (aka “aubergines“) need to be cooked before you eat them. There are several different ways to prepare them, but grilling or roasting them enhances their tomato-like flavor and texture.
If you’re an aubergine fan, you may be interested to know that smaller varieties—such as Rosa Bianca—often have sweeter flesh than larger ones. In contrast, large cultivars tend to be less flavorful, and need to be cooked longer in order to become suitably tender and delicious.
Ready to learn about another nightshade fruit? Meet the tasty tamarillo! This plant originated in Central and Latin America, but has been naturalized in parts oF India, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Its duck egg-sized fruits come in a wide range of hues, but the red-orange varieties taste almost exactly like tomatoes.
If you like your tomato fruits sweet, aim for amber or orange-colored tamarillos rather than red ones. They’re less acidic, and have higher sugar content.
These fruits are also called “pepino dulce“, and are native to South America. They grow on low shrubs, and are related to both tomatoes and eggplants. Although these fruits are shaped similarly to Roma tomatoes, they’re not red. Instead, they’re sort of a creamy beige hue, with dark stripes running lengthwise down them.
Despite their different appearance, pepinos taste very similar to tomato fruits. They have a similar sweet-acidic flavor that can be enjoyed raw or cooked, and can be used in salads as well as sauces, soups, and other dishes.
Although these tiny fruits don’t look like tomatoes, they taste very similar. Just like tomato fruits, gooseberries’ flesh is both sweet and acidic. Although they’re mostly used for desserts and other sweetened foods, you can also use them in savory dishes. Try them as ingredients in chutneys and curries, and toss a few handfuls into Moroccan or Persian stew recipes.
These glorious red-orange fruits look very similar to tomatoes, and share their sweet-acidic flavor as well. In fact, persimmon fruit flesh is even more astringent than that of tomatoes. This means that if you eat it raw, you’ll get a puckered, “dry” sensation on and around your tongue and lips.
8. Sharon Fruits
Although these are also called Japanese persimmons, they are in fact different species. That said, they shouldn’t be eaten raw when under-ripe because of the highly astringent tannins. These fruits grow on trees that are actually related to ebony wood, and will ripen in late autumn or early winter.
Isn’t this exciting? You may not have realized that there are other fruits like tomato out there, and now you have several new varieties to explore. Try them sweet or savory, raw or cooked, and combine them too. See which flavor and texture combinations you like best, and let your culinary creativity soar!
Which Fruit Looks Like Tomato: Surprising Lookalike
There are a lot of fruits out there that look similar to each other. But have you ever seen a fruit that looks like a tomato? No, we’re not talking about tomatoes themselves; we’re talking about another fruit that shares the same red color and shape. So, which fruit looks like tomato, and where can you find it?
The fruit that looks the most like a tomato is a persimmon. Like tomatoes, persimmons are technically berries and look quite similar to tomatoes in their shape, size, and structure – the only difference is that they are usually a yellow to dark orange in color, instead of red.
There are other types of fruits that look like tomatoes, too – but the persimmon fruit is the most commonly confused. Interested about whether snacking on a persimmon is right for you? Read more in this post!
Which fruit looks like tomato?
The most common fruit that looks like a tomato is persimmon.
Persimmons, like tomatoes, are small and round. They have stems coming out of the top that looks quite like a tomato that’s plucked from the vine. Both are technically berries, though few people consider tomatoes fruits and would rather call them vegetables.
However, that’s where the similarities end.
These fruits are usually yellow or orange in color. To be fair, tomatoes can also be those colors, though you’ll find that red and dark pink are the most common tomato hues.
Persimmons also taste nothing like tomatoes. They are less savory and more on the sweet side with a cloying flavor that’s reminiscent of honey. The texture of the persimmon is similar to a peach or apricot.
The skin of persimmon is also much tougher than what you would find on a tomato. It’s like a pear or apple in texture and thickness.
Persimmon fruit benefits
Permissions are fruits that come from trees in the Diospyros genus. These fruits, again, are technically berries, but like tomatoes, are rarely considered to be berries.
They are harvested in the late fall, sometimes staying on the tree long into the winter months. They usually have the shape of a pumpkin or acorn but are usually no larger than a small grapefruit.
There are lots of benefits associated with eating persimmons. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, including vitamin C and dietary fiber. Just one serving contains 50% of the vitamin A you need in the day.
While some people choose to eat just the inside of the persimmon fruit, scooping the flesh out from the rind and discarding the rest, there are benefits of eating the peel, too. The rind is rich in lutein, a nutrient that can help guard against ocular disease.
How To Eat Persimmon Fruits
Persimmons have leaves and a stem that’s attached to the main body of the fruit. The shape of the leaves is what makes this fruit easy to differentiate from tomatoes. The leaves are oval or round, while tomatoes have triangle-shaped leaves.
When you cut open a persimmon, you’ll find that it’s much more solid and amenable to being scooped out. It’s similar to eating a grape. There are few seeds inside persimmons and they’re easy to scoop out – unlike those of a tomato.
You can eat persimmon fruits raw or scoop the insides out to make puddings or other types of desserts.
Other Fruits To Consider
The persimmon isn’t the only fruit that’s similar to a tomato. While this is the most commonly confused species, there are other fruits that you might mistake for a tomato as well. Understanding the differences can go a long way in helping you to expand your gardening skills, and your culinary palate, of course!
Tomatillos are perhaps the most common victims of mistaken identity here. These look like slightly smaller versions of tomatoes and are actually tomato relatives – they’re still part of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. They’re also quite tasty and make a wonderful salsa!
Physalis is also part of the nightshade family. Also known as husk cherries or ground cherries they can be eaten raw or even cooked into baked goods. They are small and round, somewhat similar in appearance to a cherry tomato.
Next, tamarillos. These look like cherry tomatoes both in terms of their size and their vibrant red hues. However, they are somewhat less acidic than tomatoes, since they have a higher sugar content.
Pepinos, native to South America, grow on low shrubs and look much like Roma tomatoes in their shape and form. However, instead of being red, they’re beige with dark stripes. They are sometimes referred to as “pepino dulce” and are very similar in their taste and texture to tomato plants. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are often included in sauces and soups.
Gooseberries are tiny fruits that taste similar to tomatoes but don’t look much alike. They’re often used in desserts but also can be used in savory recipes.
As you have now gathered after reading this article, persimmons look like tiny tomatoes – but are actually a different type of fruit entirely.
With their glossy coloring, small size, and fleshy structure that’s similar to that of an orange tomato, the persimmon doesn’t actually taste anything like your favorite Beefsteak.
Instead, it’s a delicious bright orange fruit that is technically a berry – and should have a spot on your dinner table for sure!
Of course, the persimmon isn’t the only fruit you can eat if you’re interested in chowing down on a tomato look-alike. Consider the options listed above if you’re in the mood for something different!
Fruits That Look Like A Tomato
A wide range of fruits exist in today’s world with a diverse range of shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. One of the most commonly confused fruits among people is the humble tomato. Yes, it is indeed, technically speaking, a fruit. It may fascinate you to know that there are many other fruits that look like a tomato.
The most widely cultivated species of persimmon is the Japanese persimmon, also known as “kaki.” It is generally a light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color and looks very much like a tomato in many cases. Persimmons have a soft texture and a sweet, slightly tangy taste, and their size can very from a few oz. to more than 1 lbs.
- A wide range of fruits exist in today’s world with a diverse range of shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.
- It may fascinate you to know that there are many other fruits that look like a tomato.
Sharon fruit is a relative of the persimmon. The name originates from Israel’s Sharon Valley, where the fruit was originally cultivated. Today they also are grown in South Africa. Sharon fruit is a tomato-like fruit that is orange in color and has a tough skin. It is a sweet, seedless fruit that has no core. Sharon fruit are just like persimmons, but with the astringency removed. They can be eaten as is, without peeling the skin.
- Sharon fruit is a relative of the persimmon.
- The name originates from Israel’s Sharon Valley, where the fruit was originally cultivated.
In most parts of the world the tamarillo is known as the “tree tomato.” In New Zealand however, it is known as a tamarillo, due to a decision by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Promotions Council to change the name in an attempt to add to its exotic appeal and distinguish it from other garden tomatoes. The tamarillo comes in various colors such as deep purple, dark red, orange and yellow. It is low in calories and a good source of vitamin C.
Physalis, or cape gooseberry, is a fruit commonly grown in South Africa and Columbia. It is orange in color and similar in structure to a cherry tomato. It has many health benefits such as being a source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and contains small amounts of vitamin B.
A pepino dulce is a tomato-like fruit with a sweet taste and a texture similar to a tomato. It originates from Columbia, Peru and Chile, but is also commercially cultivated in New Zealand and Western Australia. Pepino dulce comes in many colors such as yellow, green, cream, purple, or green or cream with purple stripes; it is a relative of the tomato.
- In most parts of the world the tamarillo is known as the “tree tomato.” It has many health benefits such as being a source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and contains small amounts of vitamin B.
- A pepino dulce is a tomato-like fruit with a sweet taste and a texture similar to a tomato.
Ugly Tomato Varieties
Although there are actual tomatoes trademarked as Ugly Tomato varieties, these are actually new names for old tomatoes. Ugly tomatoes are heirloom tomatoes that do not grow with the same uniform beauty that many hybrid tomatoes possess. There is growing interest in these heirloom tomatoes because tomato enthusiasts say that heirloom tomatoes taste better than hybrid tomatoes.
Ugly Ripe is the trademark name of a beefsteak heirloom variety with a misshapen appearance, concave stem and rigid shoulders. Ugly Ripe are derived from marmonde heirloom tomatoes. Commercially grown Ugly Ripe tomatoes are hand-picked to avoid bruising and are hand-labeled. Because they are an heirloom variety, the shelf life of Ugly Ripe tomatoes is somewhat less than commercially grown hybrids.
- Although there are actual tomatoes trademarked as Ugly Tomato varieties, these are actually new names for old tomatoes.
- There is growing interest in these heirloom tomatoes because tomato enthusiasts say that heirloom tomatoes taste better than hybrid tomatoes.
Cherokee purple tomatoes are a beefsteak tomato variety that produces 12 oz. fruit. Cherokee purple tomato fruit has a green shoulder and dusty rose color to the fruit that is atypical of tomato plants. The fruit is said to be extremely sweet and low in acid. Fans of the tomato say that the taste is similar to that of brandywine tomatoes. Cherokee purple was one of the first “black” color group tomatoes.
Green zebra gets its name from the yellow and green stripes and spots that cover the flesh of the fruit. The fruit has a sweet flavor and a medium acidic taste that makes it popular for salsa and salad. Green zebra plants are indeterminate and produce fruit within 75 days.
- Cherokee purple tomatoes are a beefsteak tomato variety that produces 12 oz.
- The fruit has a sweet flavor and a medium acidic taste that makes it popular for salsa and salad.
Garden peach take their name from the peach shape and fuzzy texture of the fruit. The color of garden peaches is variously described by sellers as light yellow or white. Ripe garden peach tomatoes have a slight blush reminiscent of ripe peaches. Fruit size of garden peach tomatoes tends to be slightly larger than a small peach or a golf ball. Garden peach tomatoes are low in acid and have a sweet mild flavor.
Black Pineapple Tomato
Black Pineapple Tomatoes are a Belgian tomato variety produces large fruit up to 1 or 1-1/2 lbs. in size. The skin of black pineapple tomatoes is multicolored dark purple and green with red yellow and pink splotches. The shoulders are rigid on this tomato variety. The fruit has a low acid taste and is said to be sweet, smoky and citrus-like. Black pineapple tomatoes take approximately 80 days to reach maturity.
- Garden peach take their name from the peach shape and fuzzy texture of the fruit.
- Ripe garden peach tomatoes have a slight blush reminiscent of ripe peaches.