Summer Connect #7 – Tomato Day

One of the very best things about summer, to me, is fresh tomatoes! I love their juiciness, their flavor, their texture . . . everything about them – especially when they are fresh from a garden! (Hot house tomatoes just aren’t the same –) I think that garden soil flavors tomatoes, adding to their richness. About once a week in summer, I CRAVE a BLT – and the very best part is the tomato.

Today, in cele bration of the fresh tomato (which is going to get harder and harder to find late in this hot, hot summer) this post is all about tomatoes. The information is taken from a great book, 365 Days of Nature and Discovery: Things to Do and Learn for the Whole Family, by Jane Reynolds, Phil Gates and Gaden Robinson. Check it out!

“The tomato is one of the few fruits from plants of the family Solanaceae that is edible. Poisonous deadly nightshade, henbane and thorn apple are in the same family. Tomatoes were popular in Spain and Italy for more than 200 years before people in northern Europe overcame their suspicions and realized that tomatoes were a delicious exception.

Origin: “Tomatoes were introduced into Europe from South America in the 1500s. In Mexico their name is ‘tomatl’ and they are now known all over the world by derivatives of this name.

Interesting fact: “Tomatoes became accepted in Britain because eating them was believed to make people fall in love. Their original English name was ‘love apple.’

“More than 60 million tons of tomatoes are consumed each year. They are eaten fresh or cooked, or turned into juice, soup, ketchup or paste. Fry a slice of tomato and examine the cut edge where it has been heated intensely. The golden brown color comes from sugar in the fruit, which is caramelized during cooking. Caramel tastes sweeter than sugar, which is why tomatoes taste sweeter after frying.

Interesting fact: “Tomato seeds pass through the human body without damage and can survive for long periods. Abandoned sewage beds are often carpeted with a thicket of tomato plants.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll eat that last, beautiful tomato from my son-in-law’s garden right now!

(The 365 Days book was published by Harry N. Abram, Inc., Publishers, New York: New York in 1994.)

Learn more about growing tomatoes at: www.growtheplanet.com or www.tomatodirt.com

Get tomato recipes at: http://whatscookingamerica.net/TomatoRecipes.htm 

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