What’s the Difference Between Cherry and Grape Tomatoes?

DutchScenery/iStock via Getty Images
DutchScenery/iStock via Getty Images

One perfect tomato can elevate the flavor of a dish and leave your dinner guests firmly believing in the power of your culinary prowess. While the large, fleshy beefsteak tomatoes are usually sliced for sandwiches and burgers, and the often-canned Roma tomatoes are well suited for sauces, it’s not as easy to spot the differences between some other types of tomatoes (which may or may not be fruit). Apart from their fruit-inspired names, what separates a cherry tomato from a grape one?

According to The Kitchn, perhaps the most obvious difference is that cherry tomatoes are round, like cherries, and grape tomatoes have a more oblong shape, like (some) grapes. If you’ve ever gotten a jet stream of tomato juice right to the eye, it was probably a cherry tomato: They have thinner skins and a higher water content than grape tomatoes, so they squirt easily when you take a bite.

And you’re more likely to take a bite out of a cherry tomato—they can be about twice as big as grape tomatoes, which you can more easily pop in your mouth whole. As the larger (and more watery) of the two types, cherry tomatoes are ideal for hollowing out and stuffing, while grape tomatoes are great to toss into a salad. Of course, cherry tomatoes will also taste delicious in a salad, but you might want to cut them into halves or quarters first.

grape tomatoes
Grape tomatoes.
Eliza317/iStock via Getty Images

Grape tomatoes have a thicker skin and a fleshier interior, making them more durable and longer-lasting than cherry tomatoes. Because of these qualities, they’re easier to pack, store, and transport—so you probably see them in supermarkets more often than cherry tomatoes, especially in prepackaged containers.

bunch of cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes.
Tetiana Rostopira/iStock via Getty Images

And, if you’re in the grocery store right now trying to decide between grape or cherry tomatoes, here’s an at-a-glance recap:

Rounder: Cherry
Sweeter: Cherry
Juicier: Cherry
Larger: Cherry
Thicker skin: Grape
Longer shelf life: Grape
Better for stuffing: Cherry
Better for salads: Grape (but cherry will work too, if you cut them)

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What's the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

iStock
iStock

For carbohydrate lovers, nothing completes a Thanksgiving meal quite like stuffing—shovelfuls of bread, celery, mushrooms, and other ingredients that complement all of that turkey protein.

Some people don’t say stuffing, though. They say dressing. In these calamitous times, knowing how to properly refer to the giant glob of insulin-spiking bread seems necessary. So what's the difference?

Let’s dismiss one theory off the bat: Dressing and stuffing do not correlate with how the side dish is prepared. A turkey can be stuffed with dressing, and stuffing can be served in a casserole dish. Whether it’s ever seen the inside of a bird is irrelevant, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong and should be met with suspicion, if not outright derision.

The terms are actually separated due to regional dialects. Dressing seems to be the favored descriptor for southern states like Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, while stuffing is preferred by Maine, New York, and other northern areas. (Some parts of Pennsylvania call it filling, which is a bit too on the nose, but to each their own.)

If stuffing stemmed from the common practice of filling a turkey with carbs, why the division? According to HuffPost, it may have been because Southerners considered the word stuffing impolite, and therefore never embraced it.

While you should experience no material difference in asking for stuffing or dressing, when visiting relatives it might be helpful to keep to their regionally-preferred word to avoid confusion. Enjoy stuffing yourselves.

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Why Do Tires Have to Be Filled With Air?

BookyBuggy/iStock via Getty Images
BookyBuggy/iStock via Getty Images

Paul Misencik:

This is an issue that has perplexed me for most of my life, because pneumatic tires filled with air seem like the last anachronistic, 19th-century component of a modern automobile, and an idea which should have disappeared many decades ago. In an era where even the internal combustion engine itself is giving way to electric motors, and where a new economy hatchback has exponentially more computing power than the Space Shuttle, pneumatic tires don’t seem to make sense any longer.

(And before I get flamed, I know modern tires are vastly more advanced and reliable and capable than their 1930s counterparts. Blowouts, which were a common occurrence when I was a kid, are pretty much unheard of today. Modern tires are great, but they are still vulnerable and maintenance-intensive in a way that doesn’t make any sense to me.)

Companies have experimented with non-pneumatic passenger vehicle tires in the modern age—one of the primary drivers was Michelin. But the tires weren’t filled with solid rubber. In fact, they didn’t even have sidewalls. They were open on the sides, and they had a support lattice of structural polyester ribs, with a ton of air space between the contact patch and the (now deformable) wheel.

One of the big problems with switching from pneumatic tires to non-pneumatic tires is the fact that the current air-filled tire is an important component of the suspension of a vehicle. The flex in the sidewall is a critical part of the compliance of the suspension and substantially affects a vehicle's ride and handling. (Which is why race car drivers sweat tire pressures at each corner of the vehicle so much, as even a small change in tire pressure can have a big effect on the handling and grip of a vehicle.)

If a company like Michelin wants to make a non-pneumatic tire, they'll improve their chances of finding success with it if the new design mimics the compliance and flex characteristics of the outgoing, air-filled models as closely as possible. That way, Michelin would be able to sell the new, non-pneumatic design as a retrofit to older vehicles whose suspensions were originally designed with pneumatic tires in mind. And that is hugely important because if they can’t, it becomes much more difficult to convince manufacturers to change over to the new design—particularly after the mild debacle of Michelin’s failed “TRX” metric tire idea of the 1980s, which required the use of a special wheel and which, despite being by most accounts a superior design in almost every way, never really took off. (Owners of 1980s Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxers and some Saab 900 turbos will know what I’m talking about here.)

Non-pneumatic Michelin tires are also rather weird looking, and it’s not clear which manufacturers, if any, would take the risk of being the first to offer them on a new car.

So that is the real issue: Any non-pneumatic tire design must be not only clearly superior to the pneumatic designs of the past, but it must be functionally identical to the outgoing models they would replace, and they must be visually acceptable to consumers.

I hope it happens, though. I hope someone cracks the nut. Pneumatic tires are a 19th-century application still being used on 21st-century vehicles, and at some point that needs to change.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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