Ana Villarino. Journalist
The world of tomatoes has been shaken up in recent times. The introduction of the black tomato into the market, known as the Kumato®, has given rise to a new category that is growing each year and is already very well known by consumers.
A lot has happened since the 1970s, when a farmer named Luis Ortega accompanied his father on the family farm in Adra, a small coastal town in Almería. He realized that the tomatoes on the outer edges of the crops, which suffered greater water stress, had a different appearance; they were darker than usual, changing from dark brown to golden green as they ripened.
Kumato® is different
That discovery directed farmers' attention to the issue, and today the Kumato® is owned by Syngenta Seeds. The Kumato® are different on the outside and the inside. Aside from their darker color and size (they are on the small side, weighing between 80 and 120 grams), they have organoleptic qualities that make them delicious. The flavor is much more intense and sweet, but with a touch of acidity. They are harvested for direct consumption when they are perfectly ripe, which gives them an intense taste, when organic acids are also at their highest levels.
Their sweetness is due to their sugar content, i.e. degrees Brix, which is naturally higher than in traditional tomatoes.
The quality of the Kumato® begins during production. Farmers pay close attention to every last detail during growth and ripening, using traditional techniques and natural processes. The farmers are also respectful of the environment, guaranteeing the systemic achievement of quality standards.
Kumato® tomatoes are grown in Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey and Canada. Consumers can enjoy them all year round, given the varying locations and climates of those farms. In Spain, they are mainly grown in Murcia and southern Andalusia.
It's worth noting that the Kumato® is sold as Category I, which requires that tomatoes be firm, good quality and homogeneous in terms of ripeness, color and size for packaging purposes; tomatoes that are soft, deformed or cracked are excluded from this group.
There are an increasing number of consumers that value and regularly want to buy these tomatoes, and it's unsurprising that, in addition to production, Kumato® producers also focus closely on sales and distribution, selecting only top-quality fruit.
For more than ten years, the Kumato®, and for slightly less time but not less intensely, the "Mini Kumato"®, have become a top pick among tomato lovers, not only in supermarkets, but also in restaurants, where renowned chefs such as Joaquín Felipe and Ramón Freixa have used them in their dishes.
Kumato® will give people a lot more to talk about than their undeniable quality. Most recently, they can be found on social media with the hashtag #kumatolovers. Just one month after their launch they already have more than 5,000 followers.