tomato

Tomato

Some things you might not know about tomatoes:

  • There are around 7500 varieties of tomato grown
  • They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants.
  • Technically a tomato fruit is classified as a berry
  • The leaves of tomato plants are poisonous
  • The heaviest tomato ever grown was one of 3.51 kg

Botanical Information

Family: Solanaceae

Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum L. (described here)

Etymology: Solanum (nightshade) lyco (wolf) persicum (peach)

Uses: Cooking, raw and cooked.

History: The tomato originated in the highlands of South America and was brought to europe by Spanish explorers in the late 15th or early 16th century.

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Figs

Some things you might not know about figs:

  • There are about 800 species of figs.
  • The ‘fruit’ that we eat is not a fruit, but actually a collection of flowers called an inflorescence.
  • These flowers grow on the inside of the ‘fruit’.
  • Each species of fig is usually pollinated by its own species of wasp in a symbiotic relationship.
  • It is thought that figs could be the oldest cultivated crop (preceding wheat and rye by up to 1000 years).
  • Figs have a higher quantity of fibre than any other dried or fresh fruit.

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Capers

Some things you might not know about capers:

  • native to the Mediterranean basin
  • are the pickled or salted flower buds of the plant Capparis spinosa L.
  • caperberries are semi-mature fruit that have been pickled
  • the strong flavour is largely due to the presence of mustard oil.
  • capers have been known for thousands of years and were mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Elder.

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