Did You Know?
Solanum lycopersicum originated in South and Central America and was likely domesticated in Mexico. The Spanish introduced the tomato plant to 16th century Europe, however, France and England did not immediately recognize the tomato as edible due to its relation to the poisonous plant Belladonna, or “deadly nightshade.” Tomatoes were eventually brought to North America but did not gain popularity in the United States until the early 1900s. Ohio has since declared the tomato as one of the official state fruits and named tomato juice as the official state beverage.
Botanically a tomato is a fruit; it is the berry of a flowering plant. Due to its savory taste, lower sugar content, and nutritional value, it can also be classified as a vegetable. This crisis of identity was resolved by a 1893 United States Supreme Court ruling that, for legal and tariff purposes, officially declared the tomato a vegetable.
Tell Me More
Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins C, A, K, B9 and antioxidants. Vitamin C supports the production of collagen in the body while B9 helps balance homocysteine levels, which can reduce risk factors for heart disease. The antioxidants can help combat against the formation of free radicals, which lead to cancer. The fiber and potassium found in tomatoes help support heart health and maintain healthy blood pressure. Tomatoes can reduce blood glucose in diabetics and are a good source of folic acid. Since tomatoes are primarily water, they can also aid in hydrating the body.
Sounds Great. Let’s Eat!
Tomatoes are diverse in their uses. Add to salsa, salads, omelets, pizza and pasta sauces, sandwiches, and stews. Or use cherry or grape tomatoes in a veggie platter and dip in hummus or plain yogurt. Kindly remember that tomatoes (specifically the leaves, stems, and unripe fruit) are not friendly to pets and should always be washed before human consumption.
What’s Your Favorite Tomato Dish?
We’re glad you asked! It’s Bruschetta!
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf unsliced French bread
- In a large bowl, combine oil, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add tomatoes and toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Slice bread diagonally. Toast under broiler until lightly browned. Top with tomato mixture. Serve and Enjoy!
You can find this recipe here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/garlic-tomato-bruschetta/