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The Story of Tomatoes

The tomato is technically the fruit of a vine native to Peru. The Spanish brought plants back from Mexico, but it took some time for them to be accepted because it was assumed that – like other members of the nightshade family, they were toxic. The French claimed that they had aphrodisiac powers and called them Pommes D’amour (love apples). The first tomato seedlings were planted in Greece by a Franciscan Friar in 1818 in a Capuchin Monastery in Athens.

Tomatoes are rich in Vit C and with appreciable amounts of  Vit A, B, Potassium, Iron and Phosphorus. When cooked, they are also a natural source of  the anti-oxidant ’lycopene’, which is good for the heart and against some cancers.

Fun Facts...

  • There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes.
  • Current world production is 100 million tons.
  • China as the largest producer, grows 16% of all tomatoes.
  • The other 4 leading tomato-producing countries are U.S., Turkey, Italy and India.
  • Tomato seedlings have been grown in space.
  • Tomatoes will keep longer if you store them stem down and at room temperature.
  • The Italian Chef to Catherine the Great gave the first recipe for spaghetti with tomato sauce in 1790.

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