When a recipe such as https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetable-recipes/easy-tomato-chutney/ refers to "mixed-colour tomatoes", does it mean that it's OK to collect not-quite-ripe ones from the greenhouse or that one is expected to buy some orange etc. tomatoes to go with the red ones?

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    I would interpret it to be including unripe tomatoes, especially as it’s called ‘end of season’ (when the vines start dying off before all of the tomatoes are ripe)… but I don’t have any proof of that interpretation. If he wanted it multi-color, in the US they probably would have said ‘heirloom tomatoes’ to suggest not necessarily the red common varieties
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 15:47
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    The "end of season" was my designation, not his :-) However I do believe that Green Tomato Chutney is "a thing" so was inclined to interpret the ingredients list the same way. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 16:36
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    Given that geeen tomato chutney jam and marmalade are a thing, (green meaning unripe, as opposed to green zebra, green doctors frosted, etc.) and the end of season name, I'd expect it does mean various degrees of ripeness and unripeness, but it could have been made clearer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 16:37
  • Jamie Oliver is UK-based and the only non-red tomatoes commonly seen in UK supermarkets are yellow and orange cherry tomatoes. On the other hand British gardeners do tend to end up with plenty of tomatoes at various levels of ripeness at the end of the season, as our climate leads to fairly slow ripening. That would tend to suggest that using green tomatoes and ones just starting to ripen along with red ones would be reasonable. But of our celebrity chefs, he's not the most into home-grown stuff.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


Oliver appears to be referring to ripe tomatoes of mixed colors, mainly for appearance. He has a separate green tomato chutney recipe for underripe tomatoes.

The mixed colors are somewhat pointless in this recipe, as everything is cooked for 40 minutes with red onions, so any variation in tomato color would be completely lost.

The recipe as written would work with just red tomatoes, and it would work with a mix of red and underripe green tomatoes as well. If you are including unripe green tomatoes, you might need to add more sugar. You would need to make it and taste it.

  • Thanks for that. I'll just suck it and see :-) Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 6:04

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