EXCLUSIVE: Why do my tomatoes taste of fish? Complaints about foul tasting toms on the up


People have been complaining that cheaper tomatoes taste like FISH.

So, what could be worse than biting into a slice and thinking there is something fishy about the flavour of your food.

Bizzarely, more people are reporting that exactly that has happened.

Instead of the usual sweet tomato flavour registering on the tongue, their taste buds have been left thinking a morsel of mackerel has just been delivered into the mouth.

So what has happened to the humble tomato?

Complaints appear to stem from the cheaper varieties bought in supermarkets rather than the more expensive vine-ripened options.

The subject of foul-testing tomatoes has made it into a number of online forums as desperate victims try to fathom what’s going on.

One user took to the tribe forum to open the debate;

I eat a piece of tomato and pause. It has a distinctive fishy flavour to it.

Online poster

She wrote: “FISH! It tastes like fish to me! How weird is that? Not that I dislike fish or anything, but there’s just something shudder worthy of a ball of fish flavoured goo shooting on the roof of your mouth as you bite into it.”

Other theories put forward are cross contamination from fish products during storage, which would, of cause raise real hygiene questions surrounding the produce.

On a forum entitled “tomatoes that taste like fish,” one poster wrote: “There are more and more of these about these days.

“Probably one in every eight sandwiches I eat that have tomato in them I get a mouthful that tastes like dirty fish.”

However, it would appear that the reason for the problem is fish bone meal being added to the fertiliser of cheap tomatoes by their growers.

There was a forum on called “Why do some tomatoes taste like fish?”

John Kotsch posted: “I can only assume that fish meal was used as part of a fertiliser/nutrient additive for the tomato plants.

“I have heard this complaint a few times in the past.”

Separately, Stephen Jackson‏ tweeted about the issue: “It’s the fish-bonemeal in some tomato food.

“Basically pulverised fish. Enjoy your supper!”

However, in a forum on one poster did not agree.

They wrote: “I have never heard of tomatoes tasting like fish.

“My Mum always used fish fertiliser on her tomatoes and they tasted fine.”

Perhaps the mystery continues.

It also appears the humble cucumber could be the next salad component to start taxing bad.

On a forum on, one posted wrote: “What would make cucumber taste fishy?

“I had long believed that it may have been due to something like a fish based fertiliser, however, I have noticed recently that what can start off as a lovely sweet tasting cucumber can begin to taste fishy after a few days.

“In all other respects the cucumbers appear fresh and firm.”

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