The cronut- and ramen burger-filled world of food mashups has made its way into the garden with the TomTato. It’s a single plant that grows both cherry tomatoes and white potatoes, or the garden equivalent of fries and ketchup.
The hybrid plant isn’t exactly new, but this is the first time it’s been commercially produced, reported the BBC. A British mail-order company called Thompson & Morgan is selling the plants in the U.K. for about $24 (14.99 pounds).
The plant is made by grafting rather than genetic engineering. A tomato plant and potato plant are combined in the soil pot and grown as one.
“The TomTato has been trialled for several years and the end result is far superior than anything I could have hoped for,” Paul Hansord, horticultural director at Thompson & Morgan told the Independent. “Trusses full of tomatoes which have a flavor that makes shop tomatoes inedible, as well as, a good hearty crop of potatoes for late in the season.”
The company claims the TomTato plant can grow 500 cherry tomatoes “that come to 10.2 on the brix scale,” a scale that measures sucrose levels, and a good crop of white potatoes simultaneously.
Hansord thought of the idea after visiting a garden in the U.S. Someone had created a sort of optical illusion/joke by planting a potato under a tomato plant.
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[Update, 12:02 p.m., Sept. 28: This post has been updated to include the plants are sold by Thompson & Morgan only in the U.K.]