Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

By Krishna Ramanujan
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Horticulture Section
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Plants
  • Horticulture
Most people are jaded about green tomatoes, which are considered unripe and unsavory unless they’re fried. But a new, flavorful and highly productive cherry tomato – that ripens green – promises to be the envy of tomato growers this spring.

The new variety, dubbed Jaded, was developed by Phillip Griffiths, associate professor of horticulture at Cornell Agritech, who bred it from four heirloom tomato varieties. The green cherry is on sale now through local organic seed company Fruition Seeds.

With a smooth and tropical flavor, Jaded’s skin becomes translucent like a gooseberry and adopts a golden hue when ripe, signaling it’s ready to pick.

“Challenges [in breeding a green tomato] came in knowing when it was ripe,” Griffiths said, “but also the perception of people to green as a color in tomato, because when people think of sweeter types of products, then green doesn’t necessarily come to mind.”

Griffiths began working with the improvement of heirloom varieties in 2005. At the time most vegetable breeding programs were more focused on varieties with disease resistance and higher yields. Meanwhile, consumers were starting to have more influence in food markets through buying power, as they sought different colors, new flavors and more fun varieties.

Green also adds a different hue to cherry tomato medley mixes.

“A lot of the small-fruited medley mixes that you see when you go to stores or weekend farmer’s markets, tend to be focused on the yellow, orange and red colors, maybe some striped types, maybe purple,” Griffiths said. “When you start to get colors like green in there, that can really complement the other colors.”

The variety has been a perennial favorite among people who work in Griffiths’ program. While there are a few other types of green tomatoes on the market, they may not be up to Jaded’s standard.

“It’s an attractive looking green tomato,” Griffiths said, “and one that is I think, an improvement over anything that’s currently out there.”

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

Keep Exploring

A green grape with a white substance on it


Robots armed with UV light fight grape mildew
Researchers at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York, have partnered with SAGA Robotics in Norway to develop the first commercial robotic units, and the autonomous vehicle robots will appear on the market this year. This spring, the researchers...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section


New faculty carrying on CALS’ impact mission

Abigail Snyder, from the Department of Food Science, studies how different conditions in food processing environments can contribute to the rise of microbial communities. Her main focus is developing solutions to challenges in food safety...

  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section
  • Food Science