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Tomatoes: How to Grow, Preserve, and Cook Tomatoes

Girl With Tomato

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables (or fruits) in the world. They rank right behind potatoes in amount consumed.1 The scientific name for tomato is Solanum lycopersicum2 and means wolf-peach in Latin. The name tomato is borrowed from the Aztec word tomatl meaning fleshy fruit.

Because they contain lycopene, tomatoes are considered a very healthy food. The anti-oxidant properties are said to be most available in tomatoes that have been cooked. The nutritional information for tomatoes includes low salts and fats.

Tomatoes are very easy to grow given appropriate soil and weather conditions. In tropical regions they are a perennial with weak woody stems. In temperate climates they are grown as an annual and are very sensitive to frost. Tomatoes are prolific, and a few plants often outstrip what a family would normally consume during the harvest period. Thus, canning tomatoes can be a worthwhile project.

Coming in a huge number of varieties, tomatoes can be grown for many tastes. Tomato hybrids and genetically modified tomatoes can often maintain freshness longer. But hybrids cannot be grown from the seeds of garden plants because their offspring will exhibit different qualities. To get consistent tomatoes over many years heirloom tomatoes are recommended.

Cooking with tomatoes is a rewarding experience. Tomatoes can be used in sauces, salads, soups, chilis, roasts, and more. Many spices go well with tomatoes, especially herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano.

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Health Benefits of Tomatoes >>

  1. Page 228 of Vegetable Production, by Ib Libner Nonnecke is available through Amazon
  2. Tomato Taxonomy