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um ok. here goes. I love the biology and chemistry and genetics in this story- trying to identify what makes a good tasting tomato- but......why not just grow heirloom tomatoes?! (sigh)
Scientists are several steps closer to restoring flavor to the supermarket tomato, a once-magnificent fruit turned by commercial pressures into a juicy orb of gustatory cardboard.
Robert Furler's profile photoJennifer Isaacs's profile photoLena Levin's profile photoGabriela Ehrlich's profile photo
and I think it is super sad that people no longer know what a real tomato tastes like.
It's clear why, isn't it? A good tomato must be ripe before it's picked, and that doesn't bode well for its shelf life -- doesn't work for supermarkets. Besides, they won't be available year-round.

P.S. We still have good tomatoes at farmers' markets in summer here in California...
So tomatoes that were raised in abundance because they tasted better ages ago are as far as we can go with the tomato? May as well just give up? Heirloom tomatoes don't just happen. Someone is growing them and naming them heirloom tomatoes. And it is funny that heirloom tomatoes are generally called German or Russian when the new world thought that tomatoes were poisonous until the early to mid 18th century. I'd say that REAL tomatoes would be from South America and not these so-called heirlooms.
whatever a "real one" is- I'd rather have that!!
further fooling with the genetics of the mushy cardboard that is the supermarket tomato seems foolish- tinker with "real" ones to get a better shelf life, rather than starting with something that tastes bad.
It's much easier to inject that supermarket tomatoes with enough fat, sugar and salt to make them "tasty".
the reason the ones in the grocery are mushy is because they're not remotely ripe when they pick them(most of the time) and as such they have to ripen on the truck which isn't nearly as good or tasty. Then there are the other factors, like if tomatoes get below 50 degrees F, there is something in the tomatoes that shuts off and after it does there will be no more sweetness produced from said tomato beyond what has already been produced.(learned that on Good Eats)
Cherokee purple tomatoes out of my own garden...delicious. Might as well buy canned tomatoes if you buy them from a supermarket. The farmer's markets in California are great places to get them. Save some seeds and grow your own.
I love tomatoes but two others that live with me don't. So it is kind of difficult to really get into eating tomatoes very often.
Looks yummy.
I +1'd your post because on the one hand I fully agree with your sentiment, but on the other hand, the point of this research is to put flavor back into tomatoes that 1) will stand up to the rigors of shipping, and b) can therefore be available year-round. I'm all for buying locally, which would take care of the first concern, but I have mixed feelings about the second. I sort of feel I should just wait until something is in season to use it in a recipe; that way it stays special. On the other hand, I like being able to cook anything I want anytime I want it.
I agree +Gerry Roe - there are reasons for doing it, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not sure that the flavor genes will be able to go back in, if it is those genes that were bred out to begin with... we shall see.
I'd have to agree again. They weren't originally tasteless. I'm definitely not against genetically-modified foods, but l do believe that we have evolved with our foods over time. If it doesn't taste good to us, maybe it isn't as good for us (loss of vitamins, antioxidants, etc.). It will be interesting to see if the 'taste' gene has any nutritional advantages.
I believe most of their tastelessness is not from deficient genes, but simply from not ripening where they should...
That is definitely an issue. But most store tomatoes have been bred for durability and high yield, not for flavor. Whether or not the genes play a role, I definitely agree that a ripe tomato tastes better.
I think it effects the nutritious value as well for high yield rate.
+Robert Furler -- yes, you are probably right. It's just so easy for a tomato to loose its flavor without any genetic modification -- here, at least, one rain in autumn is enough to end the "real" tomato season.
I think I know what I am having for dinner, lol.
Plants can be stressed not only mammals. If a plant is stressed it has a harder time in adapting and procreating.
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