Tomatoes Like Granny Used to Grow

When I was little I apparently broke out of my playpen and went down the row of my mother’s carefully tended tomatoes, taking a bite out of each one, even though they were still green.

I have long pondered why this happened – tomatoes are rich in potassium – was I deficient in this salt and my toddler brain figured this out?

Or was I, as my late mother often claimed, just being difficult?

Many of us think that food doesn’t taste as good as it used to, especially with the food travelling so far, so not as fresh as it used to.

But scientists have discovered another reason, that for the past 70 years supermarkets have been choosing varieties that can be picked at the same time, so ripen at the same rate. This makes them more attractive in the shops, as opposed to the motley assortment of green and red toms you often find at farmers markets. As a person who often cooks for myself I actually prefer the mixture as I can eat the fruit as it ripens.

Scientists have now identified the gene responsible for the uniform ripening, the GLK2, and they have also found that it lowers the amount of sugars and flavour that are produced.

So, now they know, they will start to bring back those old fashioned tasting tomatoes. Or it might encourage more people to opt for the less uniform ones you get in proper markets.

Whilst I am on the subject of tomatoes, they were not originally red – the key is in the Italian name for them, pomodoro, or golden apples. And carrots were originaly a range of colours including purple but someone in their wisdom thought nobody would eat purple vegetables.

2 thoughts on “Tomatoes Like Granny Used to Grow

  1. Loved this post!

    Do you know a thing?
    When I was a little girl, 5 or 6, I used to sit down in the middle of the tomato rows (in our back-yard) and eat the reddest tomatoes like apples.. I still have their flavour in my mouth.
    I don’t know either why I used to do that. Perhaps I was just too fond of them and of getting dirty. But I wished I had my own garden to grow tomatoes, green salad, carrots, potatoes, courgette, pepper, parsley,oreganos, onions (…) of and on my own and I’m quite sure you would find me among the rows of tomatoes eating one or two…
    I haven’t grown that much, you know?!



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