Santorini tomato plants bear more fruit than ordinary tomato plants, matures earlier in the year, maintains its deep red colour with much greater consistency than other cherry tomatoes and requires no watering, an important attribute for Aegean islands, where water is often in short supply. And, of course, it tastes like a real tomato, unlike all those coloured cardboard varieties you find on the market.The island of Santorini is rightly renowned for its dramatic setting. Volcanic flows and scatterings of ash mark the countryside with their strange shapes and intensity of colours while the steep walls of the caldera, hundreds of feet high, are dotted with white villages that perch over the calm blue waters of the Aegean. Less known are some of the agricultural products of the island, most of which seem to be associated one way or another with the volcanic soil. One of these is the diminutive waterless tomato. Although it is often called cherry tomato, the Santorini fruit actually belongs to a different species, and it comes in two varieties. There is the so-called authentic type, where the rounded sides of the tomato are fluted vertically, giving the impression of a segmented fruit, and there is the type that does not have any flutings. Both varieties are smaller than ordinary tomatoes, but somewhat larger than the real cherry tomatoes.As if these benefits were not enough, scientific analysis has revealed the Santorini product bears yet more advantages over the larger and more prevalent kind of tomato (designated the GS67). Tested at two different stages of maturity, the islands variety has been found to have more ascorbic acid (another name for Vitamin C) and more soluble phenols. It has also been shown to contain the largest amount of lycopene in any known fruit or vegetable.