I am loving these cherry tomatoes with hemp heart seeds. They are great as a snack (especially during the hot summer days) or as a side dish to a great grilled dish. Here are four fun facts about tomatoes you may not have known:
This has been decided in 1893 when a produce importer from New Yorkcontended a tariff collector's ten percent tax for importing vegetables as perthe Tariff Act 1883, arguing the tomatoes they imported were not in fact vegetables. Interestingly, in determining this, there was reference to a similar case, where there was contention whether beans are seed. The Supreme Court decided that although "botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine " in everyday usage they are "usually served at dinner in, with, orafter the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part ofthe repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert", and thus ruled in favor of the defendant. This century, however, some states have disagreed, as both Ohio and Tennessee's official state fruit is the tomato, whilstArkansas compromised and made it both the state vegetable and fruit.
2. Historically, tomatoes were considered toxic in Europe.
One factor which contributed to this fear is its physical resemblance to deadly nightshade, which led it to be placed in the poisonous Solanaceae botanical category. Another factor is that in 1700s' Europe, plates with high lead amounts were used, and the acid from tomatoes would absorb this lead, causing lead poisoning. This was not realized at the time, and thus tomatoes were deemed dangerous. The latter factor has in fact been mentioned in popular culture, in the Ricky Gervais show, by Karl Pilkington.
Tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants and may "slow the growth only of aggressive and late-stage prostate tumors". The genes of tomatoes are also being tested as an edible vaccine against hepatitis B, Alzheimer's and malaria. Tomatoes specifically are considered a promising vaccine medium because heat can damage the vaccine's effectiveness, and tomatoes needn't be heated as they do not need to be cooked to be eaten.
4. Although tomatoes are associated with red, the original form as yellow.
The original fruit imported from the Andes was "yellow and cherry-sized", which was reflected by the fact that in Germany, France and Italy, they were referred to as "golden apples". It is believed they first arrived in Europe in the 1520s. The large red variety of tomato most commonly seen today emerged in 1863 in America.