Tomatoes are one of the wonders of the world as far as I am concerned. A most noble fruit, not veg, it’s definitely a fruit (an edible part of a plant that contains seeds). Interestingly they originate from Peru where the Aztec name for them translated to a plump thing with a navel! They were brought into Europe in the 1500’s and there are now over 10,000 varieties of tomato that are all different shapes and sizes and colours from red to black to white.
Their scientific name is Lycopersicon lycopersicum meaning wolf peach and they belong to the deadly nightshade family which gives them a little cheeky streak. Tomatoes are teaming with healthy vitamins and minerals. In particular they are a rich source of lycopene, which gives its rich red colour and has a number of important functions from colon and prostate health in men to having the ability of reversing the signs of aging and fine lines. It is an anti-oxidant so has the ability to protect from cancer-causing free radicals. The high levels of vitamin A in tomatoes is known to repair damaged cells and they are also high in Vitamin C and we all know that’s a good thing don’t we.
10 Fun Facts about Tomatoes!
- Tomatoes are a fruit not a vegetable because they are the edible part of the plant that contains seeds
- Should be stored at room temperature to get the best flavour
- Tomatoes will continue to gain weight as they ripen even after being picked
- Essential in many cuisine types for adding colour or sweetness or acidity or juice
- Great for your skin – the acidity can help clear spots and blemishes by just applying to the skin and washing away.
- One medium size tomato contains 25 calories and 3g natural sugar
- Tomato seedlings have been grown in space
- Great source of fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar levels
- Tomatoes come in every colour of the rainbow apart from blue
- The Spanish have a tomato festival called La Tomatina where they throw approx. 150,000 tomatoes at each other!
My Top Tomato Recipes
Basic Tomato Masala
Everyone needs to know how to make a basic masala sauce - you can cook it in bulk and put it in the freezer for your mid-week curry needs.
Tomato and Fennel shorba
Indian soup? Well who would have thought it!
Indian tomato ketchup - need I say more?
Indian Bloody Mary
Nothing better than a Bloody Mary with an Indian twist
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