Tomato Season Has Arrived In All Its Deliciousness (Poll)
A look at the history, uses and benefits of this super-fruit.
Monday, 6:00 pm I picked my first vine ripened tomatoes of the season.
Man did they taste good. Nothing like those hybrid gas house tomatoes you buy in the super market. Amazing fruit those tomatoes, yes they are a fruit, actually scientifically classified as a berry.
Of course that didn't stop New Jersey from proclaiming the tomato as their state vegetable. In fact, in 1893 the United States Supreme Court declared the tomato a vegetable on the basis that it was usually served for dinner and not dessert (the government's been wasting our money for a long time!). If you really think about it certainly it is a large berry, which is a fruit.
Not only just any fruit, but a super fruit. Tomatoes are high in lypocene, antioxidants, and a host of vitamins.
Studies have shown tomatoes reduce the likelihood of prostate and pancreatic cancer. They also reduce heart disease, are loaded with fiber and have anti-inflammatory properties. Tomatoes cut cholesterol, boost your immune system and taste good. So good that the USA consumed 11 million tons last year. (that's nothing compared to China's 31.6 million tons).
It is believe the original tomato was first cultivated on the west coast of South America and gradually worked its way to Central America.The Spanish Colonization moved it to the Caribbean Islands and around 1540 it travelled to Europe. First to Spain and then around the Mediterranean, where it thrived in an ideal climate. Today Italy's San Marzano Valley with it's rich volcanic soil produce the finest tomatoes in the world. They, too, are just starting to harvest this year's crop.
So if you didn't take my advice and do a little planting this spring, truck on down to the nearest farmer's market or local farm stand and do your body and your tastebuds a favor and pick up some of summers most delectable fruit. Turn it into marinara, piccalilli, ketchup, slice it for your sandwich or do like I did, sprinkle it with a little sea salt and pepper and take a bite, but make sure you have a napkin.