That's neither a plum nor a tiny eggplant. It's a brand new breed of tomato: a black one.
Developed by Technological Seeds DM, an Israeli-based company, the "Black Galaxy" variety of tomato gets its color from a pigment found in blueberries, which was not present in its genome before, according to Y Net News. This photosensitive pigment will get darker and darker as the tomato ripens.
Watch the Associated Press report on these black fruits -- yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit:
And believe it or not, this black tomato is not the first to be introduced this year with an unusual color. The KVAL reporting out of Corvallis, Ore., states that the "Indigo Rose" tomato was recently announced from a program at Oregon State University. Perhaps the OSU tomato , as KVAL describes, is "really, really purple" but it can at times it appear black.
Horticulture professor Jim Myers explains to KVAL that the tomatoes take on a purple pigment because of a compound called anthocyanins:
"It is the first improved tomato variety in the world that has anthocyanins in its fruit," he said.
"If you want a really, really purple tomato that can be as black as an eggplant, give Indigo Rose a try," Myers said. "Other so-called purple and black tomatoes have the green flesh gene, which prevents normal chlorophyll breakdown. A brown pigment called pheophytin accumulates and has a brownish color that makes a muddy purple when combined with carotenoids."
Anthocyanins are in the class of flavonoids – compounds found in fruits, vegetables and beverages – that have aroused interest because of their potential health benefits. "They have many varied effects on human health, but while they are powerful antioxidants in the test tube, we don’t really know whether they have an antioxidant effect in the human body."
Would you give either of these tomato varieties a try?