Dietribes: You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

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"¢ Though botanically the tomato is a fruit, it was declared a vegetable by the Supreme Court in 1893. Despite the efforts of David Stockman, a Reagan official, ketchup never shared the same vegetable classification as its main ingredient.

"¢ The tomato hasn't always had an easy time. In colonial America, folklore had it that consumption of a tomato (considered poisonous) would turn your blood into acid. Instead, the colonists grew tomatoes purely for decoration until Thomas Jefferson allegedly debunked the myth.

"¢ Other cultures have always loved the tomato, including the French name, who called it pomme d'amore, or "apple of love." Love a tomato because tomatoes love you: they can even fight cancer, thanks to lycopene.

"¢ A giant tomato fight like the Festival de la Tomatina might be fun, but you would not want to get hit by one of these giant tomatoes.

"¢ Tomatoes may have cool properties like being able to house needle-less vaccines, but bathing in tomato juice will not get rid of any smell a skunk leaves on you!

"¢ Though it doesn't translate as well via text, the title of this Dietribe was taken from George Gershwin's 1937 song "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off," which took its tomato-tomato pronunciation differences from the real life change his brother-in-law made after he bough a tomato factory (which still doesn't exactly explain it, but still!)

"¢ Help Mental_Floss fact finder Meg! She requests, "I tried to find out an answer as to why so many people order tomato juice on airplanes, but I didn't find a good answer. Have you ever noticed that?"

"¢ I must admit that though I love all tomato-related products, I am not the biggest fan of the tomato itself. What are your favorite ways to consume this rowdy red veggie (er fruit, er ... veggie)?

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Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna BeyenbachYou might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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July 1, 2009 - 8:15am
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