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Some Tomato Schooling

Well here we are back for another session….but this time we’re going to go over a few items we may have forgotten and maybe have a little fun this week…OK? Lets get started!
Firstly, did you know that it was our buddies the Aztecs that domesticated the Tomato….yup around 700 AD those rascals brought the Tomato under cultivation and as they say, the rest is history….a BIG shout out to the Aztecs!
Hey…let’s not forget the Spanish Monks that tried to introduce the Tomato to the Europeans, but they didn’t have too much luck….sad really.
The Americans were a little slow to catch on to the Tomato too….Ol’ Thomas Jefferson tried to promote the Tomato but was none to successful until the 1820’s sometime when good ‘ol Colonel Robert Johnson staged a public Tomato eating demonstration in Salem, NJ. Things really took off for the Tomato here in America after that……of course a little slow at first, but expand in popularity it did!
Here’s a real eye opener for you….Did you know that a court can decide the biology of a plant? Yup, it’s true….and that court was the Supreme Court of the United States of America! I’m sure you all remember your Biology classes from high school right….you know the part where you classify plants to tell if they are fruits or vegetables….you do remember how to tell if a plant is a fruit or vegetable right? You know where a fruit has seeds and a vegetable doesn’t….GOOD….I knew you were with me! Well anyway, it seems there was these guys named Nix (four of them,¬†John, John W., George W. and Frank W.)¬† who were fruit importers, they got in this big dispute with Edward L. Hedden, Tax Collector of the Port of New York. You see on March 3, 1883, a tariff was imposed on imported vegetables but not fruit in the Port of New York, so the Nix’s paid their taxes begrudgingly and then sued ol’ Eddie to recover what they had paid because they were importing “Fruits” not “Vegetables”. Seems logical right? Well the Supreme Court of the United States saw things a little differently….kinda like the Obama Health Bill…..guffaw….anyway for the purposes of taxation they ruled the Tomato was a vegetable and gave birth to the controversy that plagues right up to today. I think the Nix’s should have gone the “Berry” route (Technically, a Botanist would classify a Tomato as a berry)….but what do I know? Fruit or vegetable they are one healthy plant to eat……you can go play here until your hearts content with facts about nutrition….Click Here
OK….now I want to talk about one of my pet peeves The infamous “Refrigerated” Tomato!!! DO NOT….I repeat…..do not refrigerate a tomato! Look, let’s use some common sense here….you do have common sense, right? When you go to the grocery store, or see tomatoes for sale on the side of the road, or look out in a Tomato field do you see any refrigerators?….Hmmmm? I want you to look at any Tomato you happen to have laying around…or failing having one handy, the next time you go to the grocery story I want you to examine a Tomato….any Tomato….go ahead and pick it up and look REAL close….do you see anywhere on that Tomato where it says, “Refrigerate After Opening”? Hmmm? OK then, we got that straightened out. There are a couple of reasons we don’t want to refrigerate our pal the Tomato….number one is an enzyme. When you refrigerate a Tomato an enzyme is released that immediately ceases rippening….I guess this is where folks got the idea to refrigerate Tomatoes ….because they wouldn’t start to turn bad as fast. Well guess what? Reason number one is also reason number two!! The enzyme released makes the Tomato taste bad…..well maybe not bad, but certainly not as good!OK…that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed learning a few facts about Tomatoes……see you next week!

Posted Saturday, June 30th, 2012 by by admin, under General Tomato News, Tomato 411.

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