Field of Science

You say tomayto, they say tomahto, everybody says big

Tomatoes are one of those garden fruits that everybody loves. And some people want to raise the earliest one each year. And some people want to raise the biggest one, and some succeed wildly.  So here's what may be the largest tomato ever raised, even if not the ripest. Perhaps the grower is red-green color blind. This particular tomato was raised in France and it weighs in at 3.795 kilograms (that's 8.4 pounds for the metric challenged). The Guinness book of records lists a tomato from the USA at 3.814 kg, so this particular fruit isn't the biggest ever. It isn't the nice round, plump, smooth fruit that you might be envisioning. Wild type tomatoes are composed of 2 or 3 carpels, sort of like cherry tomatoes but smaller. If you look at a big tomato it's composed of many more carpels or subunits, so tomatoes get bigger by adding fruiting units. It's also possible that two adjacent flowers fused during early fruit development, and not sure that should be counted for a thing like a record. Nonetheless that's an impressive tomato even is not quite the record. HT to Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

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