The pear tomato, also known as the teardrop tomato, is a family of small, bulb-shaped fruits. Smaller than the average beefsteak variety but larger than a cherry tomato, this tomato combines the best of both worlds.
Keep reading to learn all about pear tomatoes—what they taste like, how to grow them, and more!
History of the Pear Tomato
This indeterminate heirloom fruit is believed to have originated in 17th-century Europe. Its first official recording was by biologist Christiaan Hendrik Persoon in 1805.
The tomato eventually made its way to the United States during the early 1800s. By 1847, it was being grown throughout the country. Today, there are three main pear tomato varieties—red, orange, and yellow—that are cultivated by commercial and home growers alike.
Characteristics of the Pear Tomato
These fruits are much smaller than most beefsteak and sliced tomatoes. At maturity, they measure roughly one to two inches long and only about an inch in diameter.
As the name suggests, the pear tomato’s shape resembles that of a miniature pear. It is much larger toward the blossom end and narrower toward the stem. As for the fruit’s color, it may be red, orange, or yellow—depending on the variety.
These tomatoes have thin, tender skin and firm, meaty flesh. While juicy, their water content is generally lower than that of many other beefsteak and cherry varieties.
These tomatoes are known for their sweet, citrusy taste and mild acidity. While all three pear varieties boast a similar flavor, some cite the yellow pear tomato as being slightly sweeter.
About the Pear Tomato
There are seemingly countless ways to enjoy a pear tomato. Its manageable size and sweet flavor make it the perfect tomato for raw eating.
Of course, they taste great on their own, but they also pair well with various cold dishes and snacks. Add tomato slices to a salad or sandwich, or dice them up and feature them in a homemade pico de gallo. You can even blend or juice them for a smoothie!
While these tomatoes taste great right from the vine, they can also be used in all kinds of hot dishes.
Feature them in a homemade pasta sauce or use their sweetness to balance out a bitter balsamic chicken dish. Like cherry tomatoes, pear varieties can even be pickled as their sweet flavor cuts through an acidic brine.
The pear tomato’s skin, flesh, and juices are loaded with all kinds of important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
To start, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. They also feature the antioxidant lycopene. This nutrient not only gives the tomato its color but may also help prevent cancer, heart conditions, and neurogenerative diseases.
As a low-calorie fruit, the tomato is also a great snacking option for weight loss. High in fiber and water, the tomato promotes good digestion and keeps the body well hydrated.
Pear tomatoes are relatively easy to grow and are very productive, making them a great option for your home garden. You will need to make sure you live in an area conducive to growing them, however.
These tomatoes are best grown in USDA zones 4–11. If planting outdoors, you will need to wait until the last frost has passed before sowing seed. For proper plant spacing, sow seeds roughly three to four feet apart with between four and six feet between rows.
For the best results, keep your soil slightly acidic and give your plants at least six hours of sunlight daily. As for water, tomato plants need roughly one to two inches per week.
Pear tomatoes are vining plants that grow up to 12 feet tall, so provide a stake or trellis to climb. These tomatoes also have several viable companion plants. You can pair them with lettuce, cucumbers, beans, peppers, garlic, or carrots.
While many common tomato diseases may threaten your crop, the fruit has a strong disease package. It is resistant to fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, and races 1 & 2. Keep an eye out for pests—including aphids, birds, caterpillars, flea beetles, thrips, whiteflies, and various worms.
Like many tomato varieties, pear tomatoes tend to perform even better when they are transplanted rather than directly seeded.
Start your tomatoes indoors roughly 6–10 weeks or 45–75 days from transplant. To avoid transplant shock, wait until the last frost has passed before moving your plants to the warm, fertile soil.
Typically, these tomatoes will reach maturity at around 70–80 days, and harvest will last for roughly three months.
Because the pear tomato is an indeterminate variety, it will continue to produce throughout the growing season. Pick ripe tomatoes promptly and avoid leaving mature tomatoes on the vine for too long, as this can stifle production.
Where to Buy Pear Tomatoes
If you want to buy fresh pear tomatoes, start with your local grocery. Because there are over 10,000 tomato varieties worldwide, however, there’s no guarantee that they will be on the shelves.
You can also try your local farmers market. As this is a fairly easy variety to grow in home gardens, it may make an appearance.
Otherwise, you might just have to grow your own! Fortunately, there are various places to buy seeds online. Purchase yellow tomato seeds and red tomato seeds at HOSS Tools.
You may even be able to find existing plants in the nursery section of your local hardware store. Pick them up and transplant them in your own garden!
Wrapping Up the Pear Tomato
Ready to sink your teeth into a sweet, tangy pear tomato? Whether you plan to buy them or grow them yourself, it’s a versatile tomato that is worth stocking.
If you want more information about tomatoes, plant care, and so much more, check out our tomato plants page!