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The Tomato

Have you ever wondered where the delicious, versatile tomato came from? The tomato is classified

as a berry or fruit, not a vegetable, and originates in South America, particularly Mexico. The name

'tomato' is derived from the Spanish word 'tomate' and was widely used and cultivated by the Aztecs

(indigenous peoples of Mexico)

When the Spanish conquered the Aztec Empire, they brought the plant back to Spain, where its use

and popularity swiftly spread through Europe and beyond.

The tomato can be used in so many ways: cooked, raw, simmered in sauces (where would Italian

cuisine be without the tomato?), salads, drinks and many more...

In my extensive travels around the world, I have sampled many different shapes and sizes of

tomatoes. I have to say that my all-time favorite variety is from Greece.

They seem to be able to produce fat, juicy tomatoes in their Mediterranean climate. It tastes best in

a Greek salad, with large slices of Feta Cheese, oregano, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. It is

absolutely yummy! I am salivating just thinking about it!

The tomato is a hardy, adaptable plant that can be grown in various climates. When I lived in the UK,

my late dad would plant rows of them. They grow on vines, and if cultivated and watered properly,

can be very prolific indeed. We used to have oodles of them, which would grow from early summer

to autumn.

The tomato is also a great source of vitamins, containing calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and

vitamins C and A which are good for healthy skin, weight loss, and the health of one's heart.

Including tomatoes in your diet can help protect against cancer, lower blood pressure and reduce

blood glucose for folks with diabetes.

Having said all that, tomatoes are in the top 10 fruits and vegetables for containing levels of

pesticide residue, so please wash them well before consuming them!

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