An "heirloom" tomato is one that comes from seed that has been saved, grown for a period of years, and passed down from generation to generation, remaining genetically intact. Heirloom tomatoes come in many older varieties, usually 50-100 years old. Many heirloom types have extra-large fruit, and come in unusual colors, including black and even purple! Heirloom tomatoes are championed for their superior, wildly varied flavors. Some tomato-lovers favor heirloom tomatoes over hybrids, and swear by their diversity, exclusivity and delectable taste.