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With its specialty tomato offerings continuing to expand each season, Mastronardi Produce, based in Kingsville, ON, has begun delivering the European sensation Kumato tomato variety to retailers across North America.

"We continue our worldwide research and development of unique, flavorful, gourmet tomatoes, and in launching the Kumato in North America, believe this authentic European variety will be a hit with tomato connoisseurs," Paul Mastronardi, executive vice president of Mastronardi Produce, said in a press release. "For years, consumers throughout Europe have enjoyed the Kumato, and we are now very excited to grow it in our own greenhouses and have consumers on this side of the ocean enjoy it."

Ranging in color from dark brown to golden brown, the tomato may confuse people who have never seen it before. In spite of its unusual appearance, this family of tomatoes has an intense, unique and very savory taste. A higher sweetness than traditional tomatoes, it is counterbalanced by slightly acid tastes, which all together give a well defined, unique flavor.

"Sunset" brand Kumato tomatoes are also very juicy, with a firm texture, which makes them a good choice for salads, hors d'oeurves and many other tomato-based recipes.

"We need to educate consumers on how to use specialty tomatoes," Mr. Mastronardi added in the press release. "It's more than just chopping them and putting them into salads. The Kumato is a unique tomato experience. Its deep color nurtures intense flavor and aroma that I have yet to see in any other specialty variety - it's a beautiful piece of fruit. I personally just cut them into slices and sprinkle a little sea salt on them."

When Mastronardi unveiled its new green initiative and updated brand creative for labels and boxes at the United Fresh convention in April, one of the key updates included new gourmet recipes on the backs of all "Sunset" labels developed by Executive Chef Kathy Casey.

"Consumers are eating more at home again, and in doing so, are searching for unique recipes," Chris Veillon, marketing manager at Mastronardi, added in the press release.

The new "Sunset" Kumato label displays a ripeness chart on the front of the label that shows customers at which stage of color the tomato is best to be eaten. This is part of the ongoing process Mastronardi is rolling out to educate consumers on tomato usage and consumption.