Fresh Tomato Day is celebrated on April 6, as a day to appreciate the beauty of fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are plants that are grown in temperate and tropical regions of the world and are a significant source of umami flavor. They are typically consumed raw or cooked. It is common to find that numerous varieties of the tomato plant are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with purpose-built greenhouses aiding the production of tomatoes throughout all the seasons of the year. Tomato plants typically grow between three and 10 feet in height, with vines and a weak sprawling stem.
History of Fresh Tomato Day
The tomato is said to have descended or evolved from the “Solanum pimpinellifolium,” which is also known as the currant tomato or wild tomato, native to western South America. These wild tomatoes were smaller than the tomatoes we have in today’s times and they were usually about the size of peas. The domestication, so to speak, of tomatoes, traces back to the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples, who used the fruit fresh and employed its use for cooking. Tomatoes came into Europe through the Spanish, and they became a very regular feature of Spanish food. In other European countries such as France, Italy, and others to the North of Europe, the tomato was initially grown as an ornamental plant, like flowers.
The tomato was met with skepticism as a type of food based on the fact that it was thought to be nightshade by botanists. This skepticism and suspicion were compounded by the acidity of the tomato juice. The tomato was even nicknamed the “poison apple,” because it was believed that it caused aristocrats to get sick and die after eating them. The possible reason for these reactions was that wealthy Europeans of that time, used pewter plates, which were rich in lead, and because tomatoes are so high in acidity, the fruit would leach lead from the plate upon coming in contact with it, eventually leading to led poisoning and eventually death.
Limited knowledge made it impossible for anyone at the time to connect the dots between plate and poison at the time and so the easier alternative was to blame the tomato. The leaves of the tomato and its immature fruit contain tomatin, which could be toxic in large amounts. However, the ripe tomato fruit does not contain tomatin.
Fresh Tomato Day timeline
The earliest known use of tomatoes traces back to the Aztecs from around 700 A.D. who use them to cook their food.
The mass migration of Italian people to America is credited with the introduction of tomatoes in America.
On a visit of the King and Queen of Italy to Naples in 1889, Esposito makes a pizza with tomato toppings.
The earliest mention of Fresh Tomato Day is in a newspaper.
Fresh Tomato Day FAQs
What is Fresh Tomato Day?
Fresh Tomato Day, celebrated on April 6, is a day meant to appreciate the beauty and benefits of fresh tomatoes.
Are tomatoes healthy?
Yes, they are. Tomatoes are good for the human heart and consuming them once in a while would keep you healthy for longer.
Is a tomato a fruit?
Yes, a tomato is technically a fruit that is sometimes considered a vegetable. It is an edible part of a plant with seeds, and as such, is a fruit.
Fresh Tomato Day Activities
Eat some tomatoes
What better way to celebrate Fresh Tomato Day than to simply eat (or drink) some? Make a tomato sandwich, or order some tomato pizza; either way, you’re good to go.
Host a tomato-throwing party
Another fun idea for Fresh Tomato Day is to host a tomato-throwing party. This would be fun, but be careful not to waste too many tomatoes.
Share on social media
Share all the fun and join the online tomato conversation using the #FreshTomatoDay hashtag. Share the history of the day online!
5 Interesting Facts About Tomatoes
There are 10,000 varieties of tomatoes
Tomatoes have up to 10,000 distinct varieties.
The first tomatoes were gold
The first tomatoes were not red as we know them today, but were gold-colored and widely considered to be aphrodisiacs.
Tomatoes have color varieties
They have varying colors such as purple, green, and white, however, only red tomatoes are displayed at markets for quality standard purposes.
‘Tomato’ is a Spanish word
The origin of the word ‘tomato’ is from the Spanish word ‘tomate.’
China is the largest tomato producer
China produces the largest number of tomatoes in the whole world!
Why We Love Fresh Tomato Day
Tomatoes are healthy
Tomatoes have been proved to be good for the human heart. We love this!
Tomatoes are tasty
Tomatoes are tasty, especially when cooked or used as a flavoring in food. There’s nothing better than the taste of fresh tomatoes in your spaghetti bolognese!
Tomatoes can be consumed in various ways
Tomatoes aren’t only cooked as a soup or used as pizza toppings. They can also be consumed as a healthy drink or simply consumed raw.
Fresh Tomato Day dates