As with all tomatoes, these also belong to the Solanaceous family, with this particular type often also referred to as plum or egg fruit.
They are distinguished by their elongated and oval fruit shape, anywhere from 80-160g per fruit. The fruit contain thicker walls with less seed cavities than conventional round tomatoes, which make them ideal for use in sauces, pastes and soups, but are just as tasty fresh.
Production can either be from the open field on wire trellises or from tunnel and greenhouse production where the crop can be extended for a longer period.
Mostly fruit are loose, but can be found as a truss, where multiple fruit are in a bunch held together by their stem.
How to prepare
Roma's hardly need any preparation. You can just eat them fresh or cut them in half or quarters and add to almost any dish. If present, remove any green parts of the stem and give them a wash over.
- Baked: 20-30 minutes
- Sautéed: 6-9 minutes
- Microwave: 3-6 minutes
- Grilled: 6-9 minutes
Tip: For use in stews and soups, it's best to remove the skin. A quick way to do this is to make a small 'X' cut on the base end of the tomato, immerse in boiling water to for up to a minute then out into cold water - the skin should come away easily.
Buyer's and storage guide
Roma tomatoes should be firm, have a uniform colour and be without any damage.
Often to lengthen the shelf life, the fruit may not be fully coloured, in which case leave out on the kitchen bench in a bowl to ripen fully.
Store tomatoes in a cool place in the kitchen and they should last about a week. It's best not to store tomatoes in the refrigerator as this can halt ripening and affect taste. If necessary to do so, remove a couple of hours before use to bring them back to room temperature for best edibility.
Fruit can be blanched for 2-3 minutes, drained and pat dry, put into a sealed container in the freezer for later use in sauces and stews.
- Cut fruit into quarters and scatter on top of a leafy salad drizzled lightly with olive oil, or tossed through some steamed beans and garlic
- Prepare a tasty salsa by roughly dicing fruit together with torn basil, finely sliced red onion and chili - great also to top bruschetta
- Use to make a classic salad with cucumber and feta
- Cut in half, drizzle with olive oil and bake for at least 30 mintues for semi-oven dried tomatoes - share these on an antipasto plate
- Enjoy for breakfast, sliced on some crusty bread along with some avocado, torn bocconcini and cracked pepper