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The world’s most popular fruit vegetable

The French called it the love apple, the British once thought it was poisonous, the Americans consume it the most, it is still debated whether it is a fruit or a vegetable but what all agree to about Lycopersicon esculentum is, it is tasty, beautiful, healthy and quite a wonder.
And if you are still wondering what I am talking about, it is the tomato. A fruit…I mean a vegetable that is consumed the most in all parts of the world and has some very good reasons for being so.


Here are some interesting things to know about the tomato,
• The tomato is native to the Americans.
• As early as 16th century it was grown in Mexico and Central America.
• As the seeds traveled and came to Europe, people thought it was beautiful but poisonous
• It was one daring Thomas Jefferson who ate a raw tomato in public glair that made people believe that indeed the tomato was not poisonous.
• In Italy initially only yellow tomatoes were grown that is why it is called pomodoro meaning golden apple here.
• The Germans called the tomato the apple of paradise.
• The tomato is in the same family as the potato, pepper, eggplant, and petunia.
• Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
• A versatile vegetable for cooking, tomatoes can be prepared stuffed, baked, boiled, stewed, pickled, and fried, and are the base for many sauces.
• Tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid Lycopene; eating foods with carotenoids can lower your risk of cancer.

• Cooked tomatoes have higher concentrations of lycopene than non-cooked tomatoes.
• A horn worm can eat an entire tomato plant by itself in one day!
• In the United States, more tomatoes are consumed than any other single fruit or vegetable!
• Actually a fruit, it took a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1893 to make the tomato a vegetable.
• During the nineteenth century, American cookbooks warned that tomatoes should be cooked for a minimum of three hours before eating to eliminate the raw taste. People were cautioned not to eat tomatoes raw because they were still suspected to be poisonous.
• There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomato.
• Don't store ripe tomatoes in the fridge. Cold temperatures lessen the flavor in tomatoes.
• A medium tomato has about as much fiber as a slice of whole-wheat bread and only about 35 calories.

So now that you know so much about tomato..go grab one right now for all the goodness it has.
If you have something to add do leave your comments.
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Comments
4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]
1. January 30th 2009 @ 17:47. katyzzz Says:
Atula, that's a great photo you have put up there, really interesting stuff about the tomato and the right tomatoe is delicious when consumed raw and when cooked is really flavoursome in dishes. Recommendations are to eat some raw, some cooked ( but not at the same time) and it seems so strange to think of all the folklore that abounded around this nutritious fruit, ah, I mean vegetable. Well that's the law. Never mind the gardener.
2. January 31st 2009 @ 06:30. atula Says:
Katyzz...you are so right, any way you eat the tomato, it is just so tasty and nutritious. Even having ketchup can prevent some cancer so it is said...so whether we call it a fruit or a vegetable the important thing is to have it everyday.
3. January 31st 2009 @ 21:56. Jason King Says:
Mmmmmmmmm - I love tomatoes.
Straight up - cold on hot toast with rock salt cracked on it.
Mum grows them and the flavours are about ten billion times better than the supermarket varieties.
Cool article!
4. February 13th 2009 @ 06:59. atula Says:
Jason...I know what you mean, home grown vegetables are far far better in taste and nutrition than the market ones. And I don't know if you have noticed but the tomatoes seem to be redder when grown in home...hope you keep eating these tasty vegetables....

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