Please Enter Your Search Term Below:
 Websearch   Directory   Dictionary   FactBook 
  Wikipedia: Tomato

Wikipedia: Tomato
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

{| border="1" cellspacing="0" align="right" cellpadding="2" ! align="center" bgcolor=lightgreen | Tomato |- || '' |- ! align="center" bgcolor=lightgreen | Scientific classification |- | {| align="center" | align=left | Kingdom: || Plantae |- || Subkingdom: || Tracheobionta |- || Division: || Magnoliophyta |- || Class: || Magnoliopsida |- || Subclass: || Asteridae |- || Order: || Solanales |- || Family: || Solanaceae |- || Genus: || Solanum |- || Species: || lycopersicum |} |- ! align="center" bgcolor="lightgreen" | Binomial name |- ! align="left" | Solanum lycopersicum L.

ref. ITIS 521671 |} The tomato is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The taxonomic name is either Solanum lycopersicum or Lycopersicon esculentum depending on the reference. Originating in South America, the tomato is now grown world-wide for its brightly coloured (usually red, from the pigment lycopene) edible fruits. The word "tomato" is of Nahuatl origin.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, many Europeans believed tomatoes were poisonous, because of the plant's relationship to nightshade and tobacco, although they were grown as garden ornamentals.

Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer in growing tomatos, beginning in 1809. He grew large ribbed "Spanish" tomatos. Jefferson's daughters left numerous recipes that involved tomatoes, including gumbo soups, cayenne-spiced tomato soup, green tomato pickles, tomato preserves, and tomato omelettes. Tomatoes were purchased in 1806 for Presidential dinners. Randolph's The Virginia Housewife has seventeen recipes for tomatoes, including gazpacho, gumbo, and catsup. In an 1824 speech before the Albemarle Agricultural Society, Jefferson's son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph discussed the transformation of Virginia farming due to the introduction of new crops. He mentioned how tomatoes were virtually unknown ten years earlier, but by 1824 everyone was eating them because they believed they kept one's blood pure in the heat of summer."[1]

Some lingering doubts about the safety of the tomato were largely put to rest in 1820, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson announced that at noon on September 28, he would eat a bushel (about 25 kg) of tomatoes in front of the Salem, Massachusetts courthouse. Reportedly, an immense crowd of more than 2,000 persons gathered in front of the courthouse to watch the poor man die after eating the poisonous fruits, and were shocked when he lived.

The misapprehension of their toxicity having been refuted, tomatoes are now eaten freely in Europe as well as in the rest of the world; in fact, periodically since their exoneration, they have been esteemed as a purported aphrodisiac. Today, their consumption is believed to benefit the heart.

Botanically a berry, the tomato is generally thought of--and used--as a vegetable: it's more likely to be part of a sauce or a salad than eaten whole as a snack, let alone as part of a dessert (though, depending on the variety, they can be quite sweet, especially roasted).

Used extensively in most Mediterranean cuisines, especially Italian ones. The tomato has an acidic property that is used to bring out other flavors.

The town of Buņol, Spain annually celebrates La Tomatina, a festival centered on an enormous tomato fight.

(Lycopene, one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, is found to be beneficial)

The reputation of tomatoes has been severely damaged by their appearance in the "Killer Tomatoes" movies. More on IMDB.

See also: Pizza (Italian cuisine), Pa amb tomaquet (Catalan cuisine), Glycemic index, Gazpacho (Andalusian cuisine), Ketchup

External links "Thomas Jefferson's favorite vegetables"]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona