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IS IT FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?
Solanum lycopersicum also known as Tomato is a kind of fruit that sometimes considered as a vegetable by nutritionist because it is mostly used for main and side dishes. Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit because true fruit is developed from the ovary in the base of a flower and most of all it contain seeds. Apples, Grapes and Orange are true fruit and also so many kinds of nuts. Some plants have a soft part that supports the seeds are also called fruit, though it is not developed from the ovary of a flower, Strawberry is one of its example.
But as far as cooking is concerned, tomato is called as vegetables because they used to savour our dishes. The term vegetables is generally used for the edible part of a plant such as lettuce, cabbage, celery stalk and potato tubers that are not a fruit of the plants itself. So the answer could be both it is a fruit that used as vegetable for cooking.
ORIGIN OF TOMATO
Aztecs are believe to be the first civilization that plant and cultivate tomatoes for food. In early 16th century the Spanish conquestor brought back this plant in Spains and called it as “tomate” from the Nahuati language for “tomati”. Eventually tomato become the primary ingredients for main dishes in Spain, Italy, North Africa and Middle East. While in the late 16th century tomato is introduced in Western Europe for food. Before tomato was believed to be poisonous, they only plant it for decorations on their garden. Even though tomato is related to nightshades a poisonous plant it is proved that is safe to consume. It said that the tomato brought to Europe is color yellow and the Italians called it as “pomodoro” or yellow apple. It also called as tomate in English and they called it Tomato later. From Europe the colonist brought the fruit back to Atlantic and to the North America, and by 19th century tomatoes recognized as an important food across the globe.
TYPE OF TOMATO
Beside of being red in color there are several cultivated breed of tomatoes that different in color than the usual. Zebra Green is green with stripes in color and the Blue Tomato that literally blue in color and other could be white, orange, yellow and brown in color like the Kumato. Tomatoes come to different shapes and sizes too, some are as big as fist and other are small as a cherry like the Cherry Tomato.
Tomatoes are planted and cultivated around the world because of its importance and very easy procedures on planting it. In colder country they were planted on a greenhouse for a warmer temperature that the fruits needed and in some country hydroponics is used, A process which plant use nutrient rich water for growing plants instead of planting it on soil or dirt directly. As of now China holds the record for World leading tomato producing country and accounted for 31% total production of tomato worldwide and second to it is India and United State for the third place.
BENEFITS OF EATING TOMATO
Tomato is made up of 95% water, 4% carbohydrates, and contain less than 1% of protein and fats. These fruits is a good source of vitamin A, C and E and minerals like Potassium, Calcium. Tomato is rich in lycopene an anti-oxidant that presented in red and pink colored fruit that proved to help keep good conditions for our heart, blood pressure, prostate, bones and skins.
Fresh tomatoes should not be refridgerated, because cold temperature could damage the tomatoes. Is best to store it in a room temperature and avoid putting it out of direct sunlight.
WHAT TOMATO SHOUD I USE?
Different tomato have different uses, the Roma tomato is best for making tomato sauce, Beefsteak tomato like the Big Beef if best for hamburger and BLT’s because of its size and meaty textures. Some tomato are use for soups, salads and as juice. It is true that tomato make our dishes specials even it is fresh or processed. The only things you need on using your tomatoes are creativity and imagination in adding this delicious fruit to your dishes.