Seven fun facts about our fave vegetable – tomatoes!

July means it’s time to pick the first crop of fresh garden tomatoes. But can you guess how many tomatoes we eat every year? Read on to find out, plus seven fun facts about our favourite vegetable.

Tomatoes always taste better in summer, especially when fresh from the garden or from your local market. We’ve compiled seven must-know facts about tomatoes every connoisseur should know!

1. Scientifically speaking, a tomato is actually a fruit. Although the plants are herbaceous annuals (meaning they belong to the vegetable family), it’s the fruit we eat after harvesting. The leaves, stem and unripe green tomatoes are all poisonous.

2. There are over 3000 types of tomatoes across the world. And there’s no end in sight either. New varieties are bred continually, although not all are officially registered.  

3. Tomatoes are not always red. Ripe fruits can be yellow, green, violet or even black. You might even spot stripy varieties at some markets.  

4. Germans eat around 17 kilos of tomatoes every year, making the tomato their favourite vegetable by far.

5. Italians have a very special relationship with tomatoes. The Italian word for tomato is “pomodoro”, which translates roughly as “love apple”.

6. Good news for calorie counters. Thanks to a high water content, 100 g of tomatoes has only 18 calories! These multitalented vegetables can be eaten raw, cooked, pickled or made into ketchup.  

7. The largest ever tomato was harvested in 1986 in Oklahoma. It weighed in at a whopping 3.5 kg, the equivalent of three months worth of tomatoes for the average German.

And remember: never keep tomatoes in the fridge as they lose their aroma in the cold. The best way to store them is in a dry place at room temperature where they can keep for up to two weeks.