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Mise à jour le : 22-01-2018
Crimson Crush ou Gigantomo ou SteakHouse
It took the best part of 20 years to come to fruition,
Daily Mail reports.
But plant breeders have finally launched a collection of super-sized tomatoes that can feed an entire family.
The new tomato plants, called Gigantomo, can grow enormous fruits up to 10 inches wide and as heavy as 3lbs - about 12 times the size of an average salad tomato.
The revolutionary tomatoes have now gone on sale in Britain just in time for gardeners to buy them before spring arrives.
The tomatoes are so large that one tomato alone can serve up to four people and just one slice fills an entire burger bun or sandwich.
Each plant can grow to 6ft tall and yield as many as 11 tomatoes but must be supported to prevent it buckling under the weight of the fruit.
The new variety is the result of almost two decades of research and development by breeders in the UK and the US.
Simon Crawford, one of the UK's leading plant breeders, was called in five years ago to finish the work of late American grower Paul Thomas, who spent 15 years trying to breed the huge tomato.
Thomas passed away before he saw his tomatoes hit the market, but Crawford was able to complete the breeding programme to ensure there would be enough seed to sell commercially.
They were launched in the US last year by seed company Burpee and sold under the name SteakHouse.
The huge tomatoes were such a hit that they have now been brought across the Atlantic but EU chiefs ruled the name unacceptable so it was changed to Gigantomo.
Gigantomo tomatoes can only be bought from Lincolnshire seed seller Van Meuwen, which has launched them in their spring 2015 plant collection.
The company has even stumped up a £5,000 jackpot for anyone who can grow a Gigantomo tomato that breaks the world record of 7lbs 12oz.
The plants will be sold as plugs - seedlings that have already been grown for a short time so they can be put directly into pots - costing £14.99 for a pack of five. It can also be bought as seed, with six costing £3.99.
Gigantomo is a variation of the beefsteak tomato but its exact heritage is unknown as Thomas did not keep details of which tomatoes he had cross-bred during his years of trials.
Crawford, who is based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, said, "Put simply, Gigantomo is the world's largest commercially-available tomato. Each plant will yield nine to 11 fruits, and each tomato is so big it will feed a family of four. The fruits are so heavy that the plants need support to stop them falling over. Although the beefsteak tomato is not a hugely popular line in the UK, growing a really big tomato that tastes great is something a large majority of gardeners would like to do. Gigantomo is an incredibly interesting variety that grows very well in the UK and it won a Royal Horticultural Society award of garden merit following growing trials last year. It's got to be greenhouse grown because otherwise it would fruit too late, but provided that happens it will grow well pretty much anywhere in Britain. With the right kind of care we think it would be possible to grow a tomato that could break the world record."
The creation of super-sized tomatoes comes a month after Crawford helped develop the world's first blight-resistant tomato.
The revolutionary tomatoes were the result of eight years of research and development between breeder Simon Crawford and Bangor University PhD student James Stroud.
Crawford initially stumbled across the disease-resistant genes while carrying out trials at his farm in Yorkshire in 2006.
While most of his varieties were duly wiped out by blight, one was untouched by the deadly bug.
Together with Stoud, whose PhD was about tomato and potato blight and using that variety the pair embarked on a complicated breeding programme using the strain.
By cross-breeding the variety they were able to create the first ever tomato to boast the PH2 and PH3 genes, which are resistant to the pathogen Phytopthera infestans, the Latin name for blight.
The tomatoes, called Crimson Crush, are being mass-grown at a nursery in East Yorkshire and are available to purchase from Devon-based Suttons Seeds.