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Sweet fruit fresh from the vine  

Sweet fruit fresh from the vine  
ロゴ Mar 27, 2010 by Daily Yomiuri

OTA, Gunma--Farmers in Ota and Tatebayashi, both in southeastern Gunma Prefecture, have for years been cultivating a variety of high-fructose tomatoes whose sweetness is comparable to that of strawberries.





(Left):The morning dew moistens Brix 9 tomatoes hanging on the vine.
(Right):Tomatoes ripen in stages, meaning they can be harvested any time between January and late June.

Regular tomatoes have a sugar content measuring five on the Brix Sugar Content scale, or Brix 5. With a rating of Brix 9 or above, these tomatoes have a much greater sugar content. Tomatoes with a Brix 8 or higher rating is classified as having a "high sugar content."


(Left):A Brix scale indicates a tomato's sugar content as Brix 12--equivalent to that of an orange.
(Right):Brix 9 tomatoes--with a perfect balance of sweet and sour--are best eaten fresh.

Despite their sweetness, there is nothing special about the fruit itself. Much like wine grapes, tomatoes generate a high sugar content when they are starved of water as they mature.


(Masao Kanaya, left, sorts tomatoes according to size.)

"Ordinary tomatoes are usually ready to harvest about two months after their flowers bloom, but it took three months until the Brix 9 tomatoes were ready," says Masao Kanaya, who has been cultivating the sweet tomatoes in Ota for the past seven years. "They are sweet and rich because they have been storing up the flavor for so long." ...

By T.S. on Apr 14, 2010
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