World’s smallest tomato makes big debut
It’s as small as a blueberry with a moreish savoury taste and a tantalising bite. Meet the adorable Tomberry – the teeniest, tiniest tomato that’s set to make giant waves in Australia.
The Tomberry – the world’s smallest tomato – was originally developed in the Netherlands by Eminent Seeds, which specialises in the breeding of special tomatoes and peppers. It’s now been introduced to Australia by Edison, an Australian intellectual property and product commercialisation business that has a number of exclusive varieties licensed to major supermarkets and glasshouse growers. The Tomberry is a cross between a wild and a cherry tomato, and measures just 0.5 to 1cm in diameter and weighs only one to two grams.
Edison’s Ben Meadows tells Eativity that the company first saw the Tomberry 10 years ago at an international trade fair. Back then, while the consumer appeal of the endearingly small fruit was clear, the agronomics didn’t stand up to scrutiny.
“But two and a half years ago, we got back in touch with the breeder and they’d made a lot of developments and had a lot of success with it,” Meadows says. “And so we took it up exclusively and started trialling it here in Australia.”
The response has already been hugely positive, with retailers and providores clamouring to get their hands on the tiny treats. And with the restaurant business coming out of its COVID-induced funk, it’s likely many chefs will be keen to add the Tomberry to their menus.
So what does a Tomberry taste like? While you might expect something so small and cute to be super-sweet, this isn’t actually the case at all.
“They’re very moreish and snackable,” says Meadows. “They’ve got a really good tomato flavour. It’s funny because a lot of people try them and say, ‘Oh! They’re not as sweet as I expected them to be’. People expect them to be a sugar bomb.”
But it’s not just the flavour that has people excited about the Tomberry – they also have an appealing texture that works in a variety of dishes.
“The Tomberry would be the first and the only tomato that I’ve ever recommended you refrigerate,” Meadows says. “You pull them out of the fridge and eat them and they pop and snap in your mouth. It’s got that real textural element that no other tomato has. The only other food that I can relate it to is caviar, or finger limes.”
As well as being delicious on their own, the Tomberry is also amazingly good to cook with. You can put them in paellas, stews, pastas, burrito bowls or risottos. They’re basically ideal for adding to anything that you want to make more healthy, interesting or colourful.
“They’re awesome in risottos,” Meadows says. “You put them in at the end with your spinach or whatever it may be, and you get that blanching effect from the heat of the risotto. And when you eat the Tomberry, all that flavour is contained until you actually bite down on it – you get that ‘pop’ element.”
The Tomberry is currently available in Harris Farm Markets in NSW, as well as independent greengrocers in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. But Edison is currently in talks with Woolworths, which means that more Australians can expect to see Tomberries on more supermarket shelves very soon.