Yes folks, you’re seeing it right – this plant is no joke. The TomTato is real. It’s half-tomato, half-potato developed by plant and seed-meisters Thompson & Morgan. A single plant that grows both tomatoes and potatoes. Genius.
So, how did they do it? Well, it helps that tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same genus, Solanum, which also includes aubergines and (somewhat less invitingly) deadly nightshade, so the two plants are compatible enough to survive grafting. To create the TomTato, the fruiting part of the tomato is grafted by hand onto the root part of the potato; there’s no genetic modification – just old-fashioned plant husbandry.
I’m looking forward to growing some of these babies when spring comes round, and am already dreaming of the fantastic dishes I can make with the fruit from this one plant (potato curry, patatas bravas, Basque-style fish stew, potato gnocchi with tomato sauce…)
There’s only one way to outdo the TomTato, to my mind: graft on an aubergine stem as well… (Pic courtesy Thompson & Morgan)