Foods A-Z: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a type of fruit that is often used in salads and as a pizza topping. They are red and also have seeds on the inside. The tomato is now commonly thought of as a vegetable, rather than a fruit, because of its low sugar content and savory flavor – it is now often referred to as a culinary vegetable.

Tomatoes are the edible, typically red, pulpy fruit of the tomato plant. The tomato is originally native to South America, where it was first cultivated at least 5,000 years ago. During the 16th century, they were introduced to other parts of the European-colonized world.

What are the culinary uses of tomatoes?

Tomatoes are used in a lot of Italian dishes. A classic example is the pasta sauce with a rich, creamy base of olive oil and fresh tomatoes. Another is pizza, where tomato sauce and cheese are layered on top of the crust before it’s cooked. Traditional Italian sauces also usually contain tomatoes, like “alfredo” sauce.

Recipes:

What to Serve with Tomato Soup

What are some good substitutes for tomatoes and tomato varieties?

If you’re looking for tomato substitute ideas, try:

What are the different varieties of tomatoes?

The different varieties of tomatoes all have their own unique taste and texture. Some are juicier, some sweeter, some more acidic, while others have a more pronounced tomato flavor.

But what is the best variety for you? That depends on what you want out of your tomato and what dishes you enjoy making.

Here are a few popular varieties:

  • Plum tomatoes: These tomatoes have rich deep flavors adored for sauces, passatas, and soups.
  • Beefsteak tomatoes: These have a very bold tomato flavor that pairs
  • Cherry tomatoes: The small and flavor-packed tomato used for snacking and in salads.
  • Campari tomatoes: The juicy and sweet medium-sized tomato used in sandwiches and atop pizzas.

Interesting facts about tomatoes [Infographic]

What are the health benefits of eating tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant Vitamin C, and they also contain calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and some dietary fiber. Tomatoes are unique because they contain a substance called Lycopene which is an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer. Tomato also contains potassium which is essential for heart health and to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.