Tomatoes are a delicious vegetable, and at the same time an indispensable ingredient of almost half of all dishes that are regularly cooked in Russia. However, in other countries, tomatoes, as they are also called, are also given due attention – their pleasant taste and useful properties have long made this product extremely popular and in demand in many countries of the world.
The word “tomato” is translated from Italian as a “golden apple”.
When tomatoes were brought to Europe in the middle of the XVI century, they were long considered unfit for food and even poisonous. Gardeners cultivated them as an ornamental plant, brought from far away countries. The first recipe for a European dish using tomatoes was published in 1692 in Naples.
In Russia, the tomato came only in the XVIII century, and to achieve full maturation of its fruits was due to the efforts of agronomist Andrei Bolotov – otherwise tomatoes would continue to be planted only on flower beds.
Tomatoes are very useful – they contain a lot of fiber, B vitamins, ascorbic and folic acid, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, iodine, and other elements important for maintaining health.
A separate mention is worthy of the choline contained in tomatoes – it helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood, promotes the formation of hemoglobin and strengthens the immune system.
The roots of tomatoes go deep into the soil per meter, growing at a width of 1.5-2.5 meters. The height of the stem of a tomato can exceed 2 meters.
The weight of some tomatoes is more than a kilogram. The world’s largest tomato weighing 2.9 kg was raised in the US.
The dispute over the attachment of tomatoes to fruits, vegetables or berries is an international problem. Botanists definitely consider tomatoes berries, the Supreme Court of the United States recognized them as vegetables (on the grounds that the fruits are served for lunch, and not as a dessert), and in the European Union they decided that it was a fruit.
The most nutrients are found in dried tomatoes. To get a kilo of dried fruits, it takes 8 to 14 kg of fresh tomatoes.
In the Ukrainian city of Kamenka-Dniprovska there is a monument “Glory to a tomato”.
In the world there are about 10 000 varieties of tomatoes.
Tomatoes are not only red, pink and yellow, but also black.
Annually on Earth more than 60 million tons of tomatoes are grown.
Approximately 95% of the weight of a tomato is water.
Heat treatment does not worsen, but improves the useful properties of tomatoes.