Interesting facts about tomatoes
1. The tomato is a fruit originally from what is now Peru, they were first used as food by the Aztecs in Southern Mexico. The aztec name for a tomato meant `plump thing with a navel´. Even though tomatoes are botanically classified as a fruit because they have seeds and grow from a flowering plant, the United States Supreme Court classified tomatoes as a vegetable based on the fact that they are usually eaten with dinner and not a dessert so they could be taxed.
2. China is the world’s largest producer of tomatoes, producing a quarter of the global total in 2009. The second largest producer is USA and the third India.
3. There are around 7500 tomato varieties around the world. Most varieties are red although tomatoes can also be green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white or purple.
4. Tomatoes are a good source of antioxidants which benefit heart health and help protect against types of cancer. Surprisingly, cooked tomatoes are in fact more healthy than raw ones, as the cooking process releases more beneficial chemicals. Additionally, tomatoes are a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
5. La Tomatina in Spain is the largest tomato fight in the world. Approximately 40 00 people gather and approximately 150 000 tomatoes are thrown. The first tomatoes were brought to Europe in the 1500’s.
6. Holding the Guinness World Record for heaviest tomato is a tomato weighing 3.51 kg, or 7 lb 12 oz. It was grown in 1986 in Oklahoma, USA. Tomatoes increase in weight as the ripen, even after picking.
7. Eating tomatoes can help to block UV rays, making it a sort of natural internal sunscreen.
8. Tomatoes are related to potatoes, ground cherries, red pepper, eggplant, and nightshade. Because of their relation to nightshade, people used to be afraid to eat tomatoes, but they would still grow them for their looks.
9. Tomato seeds have actually been grown in space!
10. Tomatoes can be used for beauty! Because of their lycopene, vitamin A, and acid they can be used for acne treatment, facial toning, hair cleansing and moisturizing, reducing pore size and wrinkles, and treating oily skin! Lycopene is also important for the prostate health of men.
1. What was the meaning of the Aztec name for tomato? (plump thing with a navel)
2. According to the Supreme Court are tomatoes a fruit or vegetable? (vegetable)
3. Who produced a quarter of the world’s tomatoes in 2009? (China)
4. Who is the world’s third largest producer of tomatoes? (India)
5. The number 7500 refers to what? (number of tomato varieties worldwide)
6. Are there blue tomatoes? (no)
7. What are some benefits of the antioxidants in tomatoes? (heart health, cancer fighting)
8. Are raw or cooked tomatoes healthier? (cooked)
9. When were the first tomatoes brought to Europe? (1500’s)
10. How many tomatoes are thrown at La Tomatina? (150 000)
11. Where is Oklahoma? (USA)
12. When do tomatoes stop increasing in weight? (they don’t)
13. Eating tomatoes can block what rays? (UV)
14. Are apples a cousin of tomatoes? (no)
15. Why were people scared to eat tomatoes? (similar to nightshade)
16. Do tomatoes only grow on Earth? (no)
17. Why are tomatoes good for men? (lycopene for prostate health)
18. Name an alternative use for tomatoes. (skincare/beauty)
gazpacho – A Spanish cold tomato soup
salmorejo – A thicker version of gazpcho
how to preserve tomatoes – How to eat your own tomatoes all year around