Strange Fruit

By | Sunday, July 17, 2011 1 comment

The tomato plants in my garden haven't quite started producing yet, so, about a week ago I bought two organic tomatoes from my local (non-organic) mega-mart. I used one right away, but found that I didn't need the other, so I left it on my counter (one should never put tomatoes in the fridge - apparently a flavor compound called Z-3 Hexenel is destroyed or hindered by low temperatures.)

Yesterday I wanted a tomato to put on a sandwich. I grabbed the "spare" from the counter and immediately noticed that something was wrong. Very wrong. There were weird green bumps all over the skin (or, more accurately, just under the skin.) Here's a color-enhanced detail:

My first thought was "wow, that's really interesting," followed immediately by the assumption that the tomato was full of insects, which generated the automatic, involuntary, "eeeeewwww, grossssss," reaction.

I took my paring knife and made a slit in the skin while holding the tomato over the sink - I expected that some kind of green grubs would come tumbling out. To my surprise, they weren't grubs at all - they were sprouts! The tomato was red and firm, not mushy or rotten at all, but it was full of sprouting seeds.

I've never seen anything like this happen before, either with fruit from my garden or the grocery store (with the exception of obvious things like onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc, which often sprout if left unused in the cupboard.)

So, I made my sandwich without any tomato, but, at least I got a good story out of the deal.

(PS: FYI, the label on the tomato said "OriginO / Ocia Canada / Organic Biologic" product code 94664.)
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1 comment:

  1. Well, it is full of seeds (it is the seed pod), and if it gets warm sitting on the counter, the seeds will sprout (I suspect most store tomatoes seeds are rendered inert). I have seen this on home grown tomatoes. I have also seen tomatoes explode sitting on the counter on very hot days too, so maybe no fridge unless it gets too warm.


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