Saturday 23 February 2019

Straw-mato? Tomat-berry? Family's surprise as mystery fruit grows in their greenhouse

Liya Zagaynova and her son Dmitry Murphy Zagaynova with her unusual tomato grown in her greenhouse at Great Island, Co.Wexford. Photo:Mary Browne
Liya Zagaynova and her son Dmitry Murphy Zagaynova with her unusual tomato grown in her greenhouse at Great Island, Co.Wexford. Photo:Mary Browne

Ryan O'Rourke

A family in Co Wexford have been left puzzled after finding a strawberry growing inside a tomato in the greenhouse.

Dmitry Murphy Zagaynova (13) spoke to Independent.ie about the strange fruit hybrid which was found growing in his family’s greenhouse in Great Island, Co. Wexford.

“My dad was making himself a sandwich with some tomato and onion.

“He cut into the tomato and said ‘something is not right here’,” Dmitry told Independent.ie.

The straw-mato, as Dimitri is calling it, has become the talk of the town with friends, family and neighbours all left confused as to what has caused the bizarre fruit.

“We showed everyone around and they were all mystified," he said.

The family have not yet decided what to do with the straw-mato, with a number of suggestions bouncing around.

“I wouldn’t say we would eat it,” Dmitry joked.

“My mom had the idea of selling it to a laboratory so they can find out what on earth the weird thing is.”

The young horticulturist, who is due to enter his first year in secondary school this coming September, said the family have a greenhouse.

“We feed ourselves on it, we grow cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and now straw-matoes.

“Instead of going to the supermarket for our food, we grow everything ourselves organically.”

The rare find is not a unique occurrence with numerous other reports of straw-matoes being sighted across the world.

A gardening website called love2grow.com says that these finds might not actually be strawberries growing inside tomatoes, but instead a type of tomato called a stuffing tomato.

The website says “stuffing tomatoes are bred to be hollow, they have no seeds and no juicy pulp.

“Many stuffing tomatoes look like they have a strawberry inside."

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