Why pretty tomatoes don't taste as good
Are you looking for the
world's tastiest tomato? (Who isn't?) If so, a
new study suggests
you should choose the uglier varieties that don't turn evenly red.
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.
If your full-grown but
green tomatoes look like the ones pictured in this post, you're in
luck. The darker green top means that portion of the tomato is
full of chloroplasts, busy spinning straw into gold....er, I mean,
sunlight into sugars.
Supermarket tomatoes, in
contrast, have been bred to ditch the dark green top.
Agrobusinesses have found that consumers are more prone to select a
tomato that's a solid red color rather than having a tinge of green
around the stem.
Unfortunately, the same
gene that makes the tomatoes turn red uniformly means they don't get
that extra flavor boost. So, pretty tomatoes = insipid
flavor. Of course, there
are other factors that lead supermarket tomatoes to "taste like crap" (in the words of one of our
readers), but it's interesting to find out that variety selection does
(Yes, we have eaten two
remarkably early tommy-toe tomatoes. No, there's still no hint of
color on our larger plants.)