By Vanessa Richins
One of the hardest parts of growing tomatoes is waiting for them to ripen.
Of course, you can use green tomatoes in some recipes, a la “Fried Green Tomatoes”, but most recipes call for juicy, ripe tomatoes.
As I was zipping around Google, I came across a tomato variety called the Kumato.
Its claim to fame is that it is able to be picked and used at any stage of development.
As Hellomagazine.com explains, “The Kumato…starts with a dark green skin and a mild flavor. It then turns dark brown with a sweet and spicy aroma, before finally becoming a dark red hue which is sweet and juicy. It is available in two sizes, a standard golf ball size and a mini version.”
The tomato was produced by Syngenta through standard breeding methods (no genetic engineering in THIS tomato!) which crossed our standard tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) with wild tomato types. One species from the Galapagos Islands, Lycopersicon cheesmaniae, may have been used in the breeding process. This fascinating tomato evidently has to be digested by turtles before the seeds can germinate.
The website for Kumato growers offers recipes and more. For now, the tomato appears to only be sold in Europe. We should start a petition to get Syngenta to grow the Kumato here, or at least sell the seeds. I’m very intrigued.
Have you had the pleasure of eating a Kumato? What was it like?