An heirloom tomato is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of its valued characteristics.
In the past 40 years, experts say we've lost many of our heirloom varieties, along with the many smaller family farms that supported heirlooms. The multitude of heirlooms that had adapted to survive well for hundreds of years were lost or replaced by fewer hybrid tomatoes, bred for their commercially attractive characteristics.
You’ll find that heirloom tomatoes come in all colors and shapes. They have become popular in the past few years as buying local has become important. You can now find them in larger grocery stores as well. Enjoy them like you would all vine-ripened tomatoes.