Aroma is an important factor in consumer perception and acceptance of fresh tomatoes and involves a cocktail of several dozen compounds. Tomato fruits produce uncommon nitrogen-containing volatiles derived mainly from the amino acids leucine and phenylalanine. These volatiles have strong positive correlations with consumer liking. We show that an enzyme active in ripening tomatoes is responsible for the production of all nitrogenous volatiles in tomato fruit, at the expense of substrates derived from cysteine and volatile aldehydes. This discovery defines a cysteine-dependent route to nitrogenous volatiles in plants, prompting a reconsideration of the impact of sulfur metabolism on tomato flavor and quality.