While they taste nice in a recipe or sliced in a sandwich the humble tomato is also a fascinating fruit in its own right. I have scoured the web looking for ten interesting and fact-checked truths about this versatile little fruit. And here are the ten most interesting facts about tomatoes you will ever read…
Fact1: Its Names Means Plump Thing with a Navel!
Yep, if you translate the word Tomato from its village origins in Peru its name means “plump thing with a navel” which is essentially fat thing with a bellybutton! I much prefer to call it a tomato, “plump with navel” doesn’t sound half as nice.
Fact 2: Tomatoed Grow Even Off the Stalk
Unlike many other fruits that will stay the same weight and size off the vine or branch, a tomato not only grows in size, but it also gets heavier! This makes it much more valuable to farmers as they are often paid in weight rather than quantity.
Fact 3: Tomatoes Come in a Range of Colours
Given the bonus fact that there are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes around the world it is probably obvious that tomatoes come in a range of colours. Pink, purple, black, yellow and white to name just a few of the stranger tomato varieties.
Fact 4: They Were Once Thought To be Poisonous!
Once upon a time, people were afraid to eat tomatoes because they are from the nightshade family of plant. While they are indeed a berry of the nightshade “Solanum lycopersicum” it is of course not poisonous at all and can be rather tasty.
Fact 5: China Produces 1/4 of The Worlds Tomato Stocks
While India and the US are a close 2’nd it is China that produces the most tomatoes. It is believed they export 52.6 million tonnes of tomatoes each and every year.
Fact 6: Cooked tomatoes are actually better for you than raw ones
While even raw tomatoes are rich in lycopene, cooked tomatoes are actually better for you because beneficial chemicals are released from the cooking process and those extra things are vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium.
Fact 7: The La Tomatina Festival in Spain is Basically The worlds Biggest Tomato Throwing Fight
Located in Spain the small town of Buñol has a festival every year called “La Tomatina” and it features over 40,000 people throwing upwards of 150,000 tomatoes at each other! If you are wondering if it hurts the answer is yes, so the softer the better.
Fact 8: The Worlds Largest Tomato is 3.906 kg (8.61 lb)
Grown by Dan Sutherland in Walla Walla, USA it weighted 3.906 kg (8.61 lb) and since the 30th of August 2016, it has remained the worlds largest. Just imagine how many cheese and tomato sandwiches you could make with that!
Fact 9: Disney is Home to The Worlds Largest Tomato Plant
Located in at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA is believed to be the largest single tomato plant in the world and it covers an area of 56.73 metres sq! I am surprised they haven’t made a ride that goes around the entire thing!
Fact 10: A Tomatoes Scientific Name is Wolf Peach
The scientific name for tomato is “Lycopersicon lycopersicum” is means wolf peach. The word wolf is from “lyco” and peach is from the “persicum” part of the word.