At last, a meal I can grow and cook in the same pot, from soil to saucepan, as it were. Granted, I won’t revert to my childhood habit of actually eating soil (salty and gritty, with a slightly ashy flavour before you ask) but with the latest in new-fangled cell-splicing, the green-fingered boffins have given us Pomatoes, or Totatoes.
Thompson and Morgan’s Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum tuberosum, or TomTato is a plant with a potato bottom and tomato top, which sounds like something I wore in the 70s. The idea is that folk with small gardens get a lot of yield for not a lot of plant. The tomato is grafted on to the potato and there you have it, no GM or radiation or dancing with sticks, just plain old joining together.
The TomTato could give as much as 500 tomatoes and 2kg of potatoes, though at £15 a plant, we’re not talking Morrison’s economy selection. Still, home grown is home grown and I fancy a go if only for the novelty value.
Inspired by this grow-a-meal approach, Noel and I have come up with a few more hybrids we’d like to see. There’s the Pump-pea, huge pumpkin-size peas, none of your faffy little petit pois, a slice of pump-pea for me, please. Or what about the aubergette? Kind of like a purple marrow, though it actually sounds like a small dormitory in the French Alps . Our favourite, though, is the sparrot, no Sunday roast should be without this sprout and carrot delicacy. Another one for the patent office, Mr Akers!