We all know garden tomatoes taste better than anything you’ll find at a supermarket. For example, pineapple tomatoes have a sweet citrus tang that can’t be replicated in supermarket tomatoes.
In fact, it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen a pineapple tomato unless you or someone you know has grown the tomato.
If you’re thinking of growing this succulent tomato, keep reading. We’ve organized the information below so you can confidently grow the pineapple tomato!
Believe it or not, pineapple tomatoes do not come from Hawaii. They, along with other bi-colored tomatoes, are believed to have gotten their start in the heart of Kentucky.
They are a beefsteak tomato, given the name pineapple because of both the exterior and interior color similarity to a slice of tropical fruit.
There are several pineapple tomato strains, including green, black, and Hawaiian.
A pineapple tomato is an heirloom tomato. Heirloom tomatoes have been grown without crossbreeding for 40 or more years, in contrast to typical supermarket tomatoes that are crossbred hybrids to promote specific characteristics.
Heirloom tomatoes are known for tasting better than hybrids because all the plant’s growing efforts are concentrated on quality rather than quantity.
Pineapple tomatoes have luscious yellow and orange stripes inside and outside. The plant can reach up to eight feet or taller, making it taller than many tomato plants.
Taste and Smell
You’ll recognize the familiar strong tomato aroma that emits from the pineapple tomato.
It has a sweet flavor and a citrus tang with a fruity taste aftertaste. Of all the strains of pineapple tomatoes, the Hawaiian pineapple tomato is the one that tastes most like the name of the fruit it shares its name.
This tomato is low in acidity and does not have many seeds, giving the tomato a solid, meaty texture.
Pineapple tomatoes are large, far larger than your typical supermarket tomato. You may need two hands to hold one!
They usually weigh one to two pounds.
Eating the Pineapple Tomato
Pineapple tomatoes pair best with mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. They’re great choices for salads and burgers. These tomatoes are perfect for sandwiches because of their large size.
Try offering the pineapple tomato to your young picky eaters—the sweet tang may be enough for them to change their opinions about tomatoes altogether.
Tomatoes contain healthy carbohydrates to fuel your brain, central nervous system, heart muscles, and kidneys. Carbohydrates also help you feel full longer.
They also contain protein and dietary fiber. Protein helps you recover from injuries, and dietary fiber promotes healthy bowel function.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium are also healthy components of the tomato. Vitamin A promotes vision health, improves the immune system, and supports healthy growth and development. Vitamin C is vital to your body’s healing process.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant linked to helping to prevent several types of cancer, including gastric, prostate, breast, and lung.
Cooking tomatoes drastically increases their lycopene amount, though it decreases their vitamin C.
Growing the Pineapple Tomato
Growing this juicy, nutritious treat is the easiest way to try it at home.
You can start by purchasing seeds on Amazon.
Planting pineapple tomatoes is similar to planting other tomato plants. The biggest difference is its fruit takes longer to set than other varieties, so your patience will be your virtue.
It’s recommended to start your pineapple tomato plants indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost, leaving them in temperatures of 70-75 degrees until germination is complete.
These tomatoes cannot be left in temperatures below 55 degrees and are considered far more fragile than other tomatoes because of their thin skin.
When you start your indoor tomato plants, pay attention to the type of soil you use. You’ll want to ensure the soil is right for tomatoes and can keep them nourished.
After your outdoor soil reaches at least 70 degrees, plant your tomatoes two feet apart in an area with rich soil with full sun access. Pineapple tomatoes are successful next to onions and carrots but do not plant them with other tomatoes or cabbage.
We also have a list of The 12 Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes, to give you an idea of what plants are best companions besides your tomato plants.
Because these plants are known to grow tall, make sure to cage or stake them to promote healthy growth and prevent your tomatoes from growing in parts of your garden you’d rather they not.
As mentioned, they’re delicate and need to be watered often. This means they’re prone to various diseases. Watch out for gray mold, damping off, and root rot.
To avoid disease, watering in the early morning hours allows the plant plenty of time to dry off.
The tomato hornworm is also a common pest in these plants. These are caterpillars that eat your fruit until they grow to be around four inches long. They are easily controlled by picking them off or using Bacillus thuringiensis.
The pineapple tomato should retain yellow when fully ripe with orange, red, and pink tinges. That’s when you know it’s time to harvest.
Be careful not to harvest too early. These tomatoes are considered late-season tomato fruit. It takes 75 to 95 days for this tomato to reach full maturity, often a full three months.
They will continue to produce fruit until temperatures fall below 55 degrees.
Remember, the pineapple tomato has delicate skin, so it’s recommended you enjoy them as soon as possible. Only refrigerate extra-ripe tomatoes that you don’t want to ripen further.
Where to Buy
If you’re not prepared to grow a pineapple tomato in your backyard, you might have a hard time finding it at your local grocery stores.
You may have luck at local nurseries, though. Also, keep an eye out for them at your local farmers’ markets during July and August. Warmer regions may be able to find them earlier in the year.
Enjoy the Pineapple Tomato Today!
Now you know all about pineapple tomatoes and their mouthwatering qualities.
Do you want to learn more about tomato plants? Check out our tomato plants section for tips, tricks, and all about different varieties.