Toma bella - tomato bell pepper hybrid - is that even possible

corrie22September 20, 2008

In my seems like never ending search about tomatoes, I ran across something called a Toma bella.

It is supposed to be some cross between a bell pepper and tomato.

I wouldn't put it past someone to figure out how to do that, but at the same time, I have my doubts.

Might be fun to grow - or another royal pain!

Does anyone know anything about that?

thanks guys


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they do not cross.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:35PM
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Yes. Goggle search brought up your question first, then discription. Developed in Japan. It is available in supermarkets.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:49PM
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The search results that I looked at, were all second hand sources repeating the same basic information that looked like a press release from a distributer.

"Frieda's newest offering is the toma bella -- a hybrid that combines the sweetness of a tomato with the crunchiness of a red bell pepper."

This clever phrasing says its a hybrid, but doesn't actually say that the parents were a tomato and a pepper, just describes the characteristics as being that combination. So is it like one of the hollow stuffing tomatoes, or just a red pepper? The taste was not impressive according to the review I saw. A couple of the articles did say that it was a cross between a tomato and a pepper, but I have to wonder if they just restated it that way due to being "fooled" by the original phrasing of an ad campaign.

I'd love to hear from someone who actually bought and inspected one. One article said they were available at Walmart among other places.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 12:59AM
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Don't know..just what I read. NY times Says moms a pepper, dads a tomato. I think they once crossed a fish with a vegitable, so any thing is posible. This could be one of those genentic enginnered things.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:46AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Tomatoes and peppers don't cross sexually to form a hybrid but from time to time grafting has been explored with not very good results and below I've linked to a recent report that says grafting tomato/pepper is incompatible.

This whole business with the suggested tomato/pepper hybrid and Toma bella goes back to at least 2003.

And as I recall someone did buy some and the interior was pepper looking re seeds, etc. but I can't find a picture by Googling. It was a picture of the fruit cut in half, that I do remember.

And yes, there are some tomato varieties that are squat looking just as a pepper would look like and are usually hollow.

Here's another take on the tomato looking peppers;

Carolyn, who says don't get too excited about anyone who says they have a grafted tomato/hot pepper salsa variety. LOL

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato/pepper Graft Incompatibility

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 10:07AM
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daylilydude(7 Tishomingo Ms.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Bell Pepper Hybrid

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 1:00AM
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dvdgzmn(Sunset 17 SF CA)

The link was not helpful, but not your fault. Searching the Frieda's website for Toma Bella yields no results. Maybe the lawyers got involved and they purged all references. What does that suggest?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:19PM
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The link worked for me.

I have provided a screen capture below.

If you are having trouble finding it go to Frieda's main page ( On the right side panel you will see a category called "fresh specialty fruits" (in purple writing lower right side in the screen capture link). That will bring up another panel. Look at the bottom of this new panel (left panel) and at the bottom choose "page 8". Then look for "Toma Pepper" and click on it. This page is what the screen capture shows.

From what I see, this is nothing more than a variety of a bell type pepper that is squat and is "ruffled" like some varieties of tomato (might as well be calling a tomato that looks like an Anehiem type pepper like 'Olpaka' a "Peppemato"). Call it "creative advertising" that takes some liberty with the appearances rather than facts. Apparently Mr. Davis must have been working for Frieda.

The link shows a picture of it.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:37AM
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I think that Frieda's is a pepper. Could still be a hybred- pepper to pepper. No tomatoe involved.
Now there might be a cross some where from a Japan breeder, like some news reports say. Do they call them GM? but I don' think this is it. If it does exist.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:02AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Did anyone look at the link I posted above?

I've linked to it below so you can see what some of the tomato shaped peppers look like.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato shaped pepper

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:29AM
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"Privita" (sp) is a pepper variety that does this.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Here's a few more pics with seeds you can even order. I think these are just tomatoes that are pepper like, not actual crosses.

I wanted to plant them next year so I could serve up some stuffed tomatoes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stuffing Tomatoes

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 11:49PM
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I originally thought about stuffers too archerb. However after looking at the picture on Fried's website I ruled this out. I based this upon the lack of gel surrounding the seeds. Stuffer tomatoes have a gel surrounding the seeds (though occassionally due to some enviornmental issue parts can be dry - seeds are usually discolored dark when I have noted this in the past). Pepper fruits' seeds are "dry" having no noticable gel around the seeds. The seeds in the Frieda picture also appear to be more pepper like in color and shape than tomato.

I have wondered how many people are interested in stuffer tomatoes.

One there own, I find them dry and taste-wise unappealing. However I do think that with the right chef/application smaller ones could/should be developed for the use of hors'deovuers (sp). I think this would be an excellent and appealing use for chefs looking for something different. The challenge is getting something small but hollow enough AND somewhat firm to be able to hold whatever contents added (especially if heated). What I have attempted with stuffing tomatoes is limited on the cooking time before the sides collapse and then just turn to mush. I found a heating the stuffing and then a quick run under a broiler/toaster oven to brown the top and warm makes for an acceptible presentation.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:35PM
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Hi all, looking this morningto see if what I have accidently grown is a common occurance? I have 4 pots of tomatoes including romas below a deck and several capsicum plants in pots on the deck but not directly over the toms, in fact about 6-8 feet away. There was a fresh flush of tomatoes on one of the roms in late autumn early winter and upn picking for pickling I found them to be rather hard. I opened one and it has all of the characteristics of a capsicum inside including the white flesh that holds the seeds, but is 'filled' like a tomato with flesh rather that the usual 'void' in a capsicum. They are crisp and on the outside look like a green roma tomato with just a hint of the seed carrying flesh veins inside. So yes it is possible if you don't try too hard! Cheers, Jayne

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:08PM
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