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A new tomato that’s always ripe for the picking

Kumato can be eaten at any stage of the ripening process, from dark green onwards

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Ten years in the making, the Kumato - as it's called - is the only variety of tomato that can be enjoyed in varying degrees of ripeness, giving a different flavour profile for each stage 

04 JUNE 2009

While most of us wouldn't even entertain the idea of adding a green tomato to our salads, all that could be about to change with the arrival of the Kumato to UK shores.

The unique tomato has been ten years in development. Unlike most other types which must be eaten ripe, it can be picked at various stages of its development, each of which have a unique flavour.

It has been modified from a lost wild variety of tomato and is grown in Lancashire where the climate is mild enough to grow the seedlings. The new variety, which has been available in Spain and France for the last few years, has just gone on sale in 50 Marks & Spencers stores across the UK.

The Kumato, which has been, starts with a dark green skin and a mild flavour. 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.

Tomatoes do divide – some like the crunch, some the sharpness, some the softer, redder type, but scientists have developed these toms to cross that bridge.

Dr Ian Puddephat, one of the boffins who helped develop the Kumato said: “While continental Europeans and Americans have eaten multi-coloured tomatoes for years, British consumers have traditionally only bought red. Our research reveals that the British palette has now ripened and the UK shopper is ready to try new things.”

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