You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

Jerry and I both say toeMAYtoe and not toeMAHtoe. Here in Spain we have learned to say tomate (toeMAHtay). Then, last week, Jerry bought Kumato Tomates — which in English could be KooMAHtoe ToeMAHtoe or KooMAYtoe ToeMAYtoe. Or even KooMAHtoe ToeMAYtoe or KooMAYtoe ToeMAHtoe. In Spanish, it’s pronounced KooMAHtoe ToeMAHtay. Well, obviously, my brain went into a tailspin.

The tailspin was worth it. Kumatos (Spanish pronunciation) are delicious.

The lowdown, with thanks to Wikipedia for much of this information: The Kumato is a trade name given to the variety of tomato developed in Spain called “Olmeca.” It’s now grown in Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico. Its size and shape is just like a standard tomato, but the color is reddish brown and it’s got a higher fructose content, which makes it much sweeter (deliciously sweet) than a typical tomato. The Kumato is considered a gourmet tomato and has a much longer shelf life than the traditional tomato.

Syngenta, the company that developed the Kumato, has said they will never make Kumato seeds available to the general public, selling the seeds only to licensed growers that go through a rigorous selection process. But no one is stopping you from taking the seeds and growing your own Kumatos at home. That, I know, is what My Mother The Dowager Duchess would do.

COMING SOON: The Christmas Lights of Sevilla

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato”

  1. J&L:
    Paradicsom sounds like some sort of bacteria to me. But Jerry, with his Slavic studies background, would probably find it much easier to communicate in Budapest than in Sevilla.

  2. FDeF:
    Funny. I can never think of tomato or potato without thinking of that idiot. (And they haven't gotten any smarter over the years, have they? Only slicker.)

  3. What a great idea to put Ella & Louis in this post. The Kumato are almost not available here, they're grown for export to… Spain and France.

    But sometimes some slip through the net and end up on my plate, it's a pity they're gone in a jiffy but so delicious!

  4. Ok…here is a comment totally off topic. I was with my translator today, working with a new patient…a little Hispanic boy who, we were told, spoke only Spanish.

    After a few pleasantries, Diana, my translator, informed me that the family didn't really speak Spanish,but Kanjobal and that they weren't from Mexico, but Spain.

    So….what do you think of Kanjobal?

  5. And further off topic…I googled Kanjobal and it said it was a MAYAN dialect, so that seems more like Guatemala to me than Spain, yes?

    And I know you are probably thinking, "Why does Maria think that I even care about this?"

    Sorry…I just have Spain on my brain. Or perhaps it is a tomato or a potato.

  6. OK Mitch, now you have me interested. Please squeeze some of the seeds onto a piece of paper towel and mail it to me. I will message you my address on FB.

    Happy Chanukah to you and Jerry


  7. I wonder if planting the seeds will actually result in the same fruit? Many hybrids don't grow "true" from seed. Still, worth a shot!

  8. Peter:
    I love anything with Ella and Louis, I tried to post the original version with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but couldn't embed it.

    We learned last night about Raf tomatoes from Almería and were told they look and taste the same. Have you heard of those?

  9. Maria:
    You say Kanjobal, I say Guatemala. How strange that it's thought that the family is from Spain and not Guatemala, which is where, according to Wikipedia, the language originates. I can't find any reference to Kanjobal being used in Spain. I'm sure I found the same sites as you when I searched. Fascinating. I take it your translator is not fluent in Kanjobal?

  10. Walt the Fourth:
    From what I can find on the web, no one mentions that as a problem, but it is curious. We even had very old hybrid roses in San Diego that reverted in spots to wild roses. Interesting. I just mentioned to Peter above that there's a tomato from Almería called Raf. I think this type of tomato is also known as tomate negro (black tomato).

Please share your thoughts...

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