Tomatoes are an incredibly popular fruit right across the world and are super easy to grow. Just a couple of plants will produce hundreds of tomatoes. Here are some fascinating tomatoey facts to get you in the mood for this amazing plant:
Originally tomatoes came from Peru and their Aztec name is translated to mean ‘plump thing with a navel’. However, their scientific name is Lycopersicon lycopersicum which means wolf peach.
Humans didn’t always enjoy chowing down on this red fruit, being scared to eat them because of their close relation to the deadly nightshade plant. Tomatoes are also related to cherries, eggplant, nightshade, red pepper and potatoes. Thankfully, we overcame the superstition as tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, crucial for the health of the prostate gland for guys.
Tomatoes first appeared in Europe around the middle of the 16th century and were of the yellow variety. In fact, the Italian for tomato is pomodoro which means golden apple. They were first brought to Europe in the mid 1500’s. If you have a craving for a little Italian tomato feast, then find a Restaurant Dublin like www.toscanarestaurant.ie/
People still confuse the tomato as a vegetable when it is a fruit. The confusion probably arose when the U.S Supreme Court stated they were vegetables for the purposes of taxation towards the end of the 19th century. The way to tell between a fruit and a vegetable is that a fruit is the edible part of a plant that contains the seeds, while a vegetable is the leaf, root or stem.
More than half a million tomato seeds were sent to the International Space Station before arriving back on earth to be grown in classrooms in Canada.
We also think of the humble tomato as red in colour but there are in fact varieties in purple, black, white, yellow and pink. There are a whopping 7500 different varieties across the globe.
The world’s biggest producer of tomatoes is China, who produce one quarter of the global total. Second is the U.S, followed by India.
Not only do tomatoes help with prostate health in men but they contain antioxidants to help heart health and the fight against cancer. Surprisingly, cooking them is healthier than eating them raw as it releases the more beneficial nutrients. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamins A & C, potassium and calcium.
If you don’t want to eat them but prefer to throw them instead, then head to La Tomatina in Spain, the world’s biggest tomato fight. The event attracts around 4,000 people and 150,000 tomatoes are thrown.
The Guinness World Record for the heaviest tomato in the world is held by a tomato grown in Oklahoma in 1986. It weighed a whopping 3.5kg!
Did you know that eating tomatoes during the summer can help prevent sunburn, if eaten as well as applying sun screen? The consumption of tomatoes helps to block UV rays, acting like an internal sun block.