Another tomato I got to taste on my trip up California’s central coast was the striking, nearly black “Indigo Rose”. The Indigo Rose tomato was bred conventionally by Oregon State University specifically to have high levels of antioxidants. Those antioxidants are in the tomato thanks to a class of flavonoids called anthocyanin, substances which also give the fruit its dark color.
According to Oregon State,
Indigo Rose’s genesis began in the 1960s, when two breeders – one from Bulgaria and the other from the United States – first crossed-cultivated tomatoes with wild species from Chile and the Galapagos Islands . . . Some wild tomato species have anthocyanins in their fruit, and until now, tomatoes grown in home gardens have had the beneficial pigment only in their leaves and stems, which are inedible.
The size is somewhat bigger than a cherry tomato. The inside of the tomato is a dark red. The taste? Good, even though the one I tried had not matured yet. I’m going to consider growing these next year.
You can find out more about the Indigo Rose on the Oregon State Extension Service website.
Indigo Rose seeds can be purchased through Johnny’s Select Seeds.