Our Editors Can't Stop Talking About This Trader Joe's Produce Item You May Have Overlooked

No, it’s not their bananas.

a photo of a Trader Joe's storefront

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As the weather warms up, we’re stocking up on seasonal fruits and vegetables. But if you’re a Trader Joe’s fan, there’s one produce item you may have walked by on countless visits—and they’re guaranteed must-buys for our editors.

In fact, this product is noted to be just as delicious out of season, and it’s most likely an item that you buy every week that needs an upgrade: tomatoes. The Trader Joe’s tomatoes that are worth the rave are not your standard beefsteaks.

“I'm a tomato snob,” our senior commerce editor Brierley Horton, M.S., RD, says. “If it's not tomato season, the only tomatoes I'll usually buy are cherry or grape tomatoes and only when I'm making a burrito bowl or taco salad. But the Kumato tomatoes at Trader Joe's are an exception. I buy them year-round and no matter the season, they never disappoint.”

Meet the Trader Joe’s Kumato Brown Tomatoes: the dark tomatoes that dreams are made of. If you want a taste of summer while it’s barely spring, they're absolutely worth the buy, even by our New Jersey-raised editors’ standards.

“When you grow up in the literal ‘Garden State’ in an Italian-American family, you quickly figure out what a good tomato tastes like,” commerce food writer Kristin Montemarano explains. “They’re at the core of most of my favorite meals, and for as long as I can remember, the only time I ever really enjoyed a whole, raw tomato was when they were plucked out of my own backyard.”

“All of that changed when I bought the Kumato tomatoes from Trader Joe's,” Montemarano continues. “They’re juicy, tart, a little sweet and rich with an umami-like flavor similar to that of heirlooms.”

Our editorial director Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD, is also from Jersey and can relate to being picky with her tomatoes—until, of course, she first tried these TJ gems.

“They are so delicious!” she raves. “Consistently so, which is not the case with most store-bought tomatoes, especially when they’re out of season. And the price point can’t be beat. I even find myself buying them in the summer, which is saying a lot.”

Their similar taste and texture to heirloom tomatoes means that they can be easily substituted in recipes like our Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata or our Tomato Ricotta Tart. Here are some more ideas that our editors use them for:

  • “I make EatingWell’s Tomato-Corn Pie all the time with them.” - Horton
  • “I love them tossed into salads of any kind, whether a simple chopped version or paired with a seasonal fruit and a whole-milk ricotta cheese. They’re also great sliced on rustic slices of bread, tossed into pasta dishes, roasted for a soup and so much more.” - Montemarano
  • “On top of toast, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, cooked into a frittata—there are endless ways I enjoy them.” - Seaver

For more inspiration on how to use up your tomatoes (if you somehow don’t run out just from snacking), browse through these highly rated tomato recipes you’ll want to make forever.

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