Things you may not know about tomatoes
However, the courts did not change the botanical classification of the tomato. I saw on the internet what the difference is between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit and wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The tomato originated in South America. European explorers discovered them in the 1500's and took them back to Europe where the French dubbed them the “love apple.” Nothing says I love you like a big juicy tomato. Who needs roses when you have tomatoes? By the way men, they are a lot cheaper, have no thorns, and are edible. This would not be a waste of money.
By the 1600's they got over that and the Spanish called them “tomate” where we get our modern
form of tomato.
Today ninety-three percent of American gardens have tomatoes in them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims Americans consume 22-24 pounds of tomatoes per person each year. Most of that is in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce. California is the largest producer of processed tomatoes in the United States, while Florida produces the greatest amount of fresh tomatoes. However, the largest tomato on record was grown by Gordon Graham in Edmond, Oklahoma. It weighed a whopping 7 pounds 12 ounces. Amazingly, the United States in not the greatest producer of tomatoes. China is number one followed by the United States, Turkey and India.
The importance of the tomato does not stop there. Besides being the best companion to a slice of bacon (in my opinion), the tomato is very important to other states in the union as well. The tomato is the official fruit and vegetable of Arkansas. Apparently the debate was settled there. They just classify it as both a fruit and a vegetable. Maybe the tomato is bi-polar. In other news, the state of Ohio has made tomato juice the official beverage. That is one form of the tomato I can not tolerate. The Buckeye State may have just lost a supporter. I love tomatoes but they are made to be eaten not drunk. (again my opinion)
So what about those people that do not like tomatoes in any form? They refuse to grow them, eat or drink them. Well they are in luck. They can move to Bunol, Spain. The last Wednesday in August they hold the La Tomatina Festival. Tens of thousands of visitors will participate in the largest tomato fight known to man. Some 150,000 tomatoes will be thrown at each other in this celebration. Talk about your ultimate food fight!
Whatever your opinion is about tomatoes, it is the time of year to start putting them in your garden, well at least for 93% of you. Stay tuned for next time as we dive into the world of the tomato plant. Till then, as life continues, keep looking between the barb wire.
Cherokee County Ag Agent
You might enjoy these recipes for tomatoes:Cherry Tomato Salad
California Fish Tacos
Italian Roast Beef Panini with Garlic Aioli