70 Facts About Tomatoes

A huge happy 70th birthday to my Nanny! For her birthday last year we bought her some tomato seeds. Seeds are pretty small and it doesn’t look like much when you plant them, so she planted them all… Let’s just say she’s now got an overwhelming abundance of tomatoes!


We’re staying with her for a few days to celebrate her birthday, so I thought whilst I’m surrounded by so many tomatoes it’d be pretty appropriate to share 70 (for her seventy years!) random things about tomatoes! Here it goes…


*I wrote this post over the 9th and 10th of August, so I’m sorry if any of this information is now out of date when you read it.

some of the different types of tomatoes that Nanny has grown

some of the different types of tomatoes that Nanny has grown

  1. “Tomato” is derived from the Spanish word “tomate” which is derived from the Nahuatl word “tomatl.”
  2. 1155 different recipes appear when you type “tomato” into BBC GoodFood.
  3. Tom-ay-to or tom-ah-to?
  4. Tomatoes are a type of berry.
  5. Heinz Tomato Soup was first available in the UK in 1910.
  6. The green leaves on tomatoes are toxic.
  7. In the movie Pulp Fiction they tell a joke about tomatoes: "Three tomatoes are walkin' down the street. Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts lagging behind, and Papa Tomato gets really angry. Goes back and squishes him and says: "Ketchup." Ketchup."
  8. Globally, 170.8 million tonnes of tomatoes were produced in 2014.
  9. There are approximately 7,500 different types of tomatoes.
  10. Mexico was the first country to eat tomatoes.
  11. Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio.
  12. Most tomatoes are red by their colour can vary significantly across the colour spectrum. 
  13. Regular consumption of tomatoes aids in maintaining healthy hair and skin.
  14. The horror movie Tomato Man was released in 2010 and is about a serial killer (called Tomato Man) who kills women. 
  15. Cherry tomatoes grow in big bunches.
  16. If tomatoes are a fruit shouldn't ketchup be a jam?!
  17. There are 18 calories in 100g of raw red tomatoes.
  18. Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest type of tomato and can weigh up to 1.5kg.
  19. The Guinness World Record for the most tomatoes from a single plant in one year is an astonishing 32,194 tomatoes (522.464kg). 
  20. Tomatoes originated from the area that is now known as Peru. 
  21. More than 650 million bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup are consumed around the world each year.
  22. Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked.
  23. Determinate tomatoes are bush-like and relatively compact. 
  24. Indeterminate tomatoes are vine-like and require more support to grow than indeterminate tomatoes. 
  25. The red colour of tomatoes comes from the antioxidant lycopene. 
  26. La Tomatina is a Spanish festival in the town of Buñol where people gather to throw tomatoes at each other.
  27. Approximately 150,000 tomatoes are thrown at La Tomatina every year.
  28. Lycopersicon lycopersicum is the scientific name for tomatoes and it translates to "wolf peach."
  29. The scientific name for a tomato plant is Solanum lycopersicum.
  30. My brother James hates tomatoes (but he still loves Heinz Tomato Soup and Ketchup!).
  31. Tomato Ketchup is a thixotropic solution (it becomes more liquid as you shake it). 
  32. There is no mention of tomatoes in Shakespeare or the Bible.
  33. Killer Tomato is a restaurant in London which serves Mexican food. 
  34. Gazpacho is a Spanish tomato soup which is served cold. 
  35. Although a fruit, tomatoes are mostly used in savoury cooking.
  36. The tomato first appeared in writing in 1544.
  37. As tomatoes ripen their mass increases, even after they've been harvested. 
  38. Tomatoes are a very good source of vitamins A and C.
  39. The state vegetable of New Jersey is the tomato.
  40. 96% of tomatoes in the USA are cultivated in California. 
  41. Salad tomatoes are about 2-3” big and are often served in sandwiches or, as the name suggests, salads.
  42. The Chamber’s Dictionary definition of tomato is “1. A S American plant related to the potato, formerly called the love apple. 2. Its glossy red or yellow pulpy edible fruit.”
  43. Heinz Tomato Ketchup was first sold in the UK in 1886.
  44. China produces the largest amount of tomatoes in the world. 
  45. Rotten Tomatoes is a movie review website. 
  46. Tomatoes were first cultivated in England in the late 16th century.
  47. Tomatoes are 95% water.
  48. Tomato juice and vodka (plus other things for spice and flavour) are key ingredients in a Bloody Mary cocktail. 
  49. Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family.
  50. Q: Why did the tomato go out with a prune? A: Because he couldn't find a date. 
  51. Vitamin A (found in tomatoes) helps to improve vision. 
  52. The Aztec name for tomato means "plump thing with a navel."
  53. Roma tomatoes are Italian and are popular for making sauces. 
  54. Eating lots of tomatoes reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  55. Pan con Tomate is a traditional Spanish breakfast of toasted bread covered in tomato purée, olive oil and garlic.
  56. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! was a film made in 1978 about scientists saving the world from mutated tomatoes.
  57. Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (the sequel to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!) features George Clooney and was released in 1988. 
  58. The largest tomato ever was cultivated in 1986 and weighed 3.51kg.
  59. 0.9g of protein are in 100g of raw red tomatoes.
  60. 93% of gardeners in the USA grow tomatoes. 
  61. Q: Why did the tomato blush? A: Because he saw the salad dressing. 
  62. The most popular type of tomatoes for making salsa are plum tomatoes. 
  63. The tallest tomato plant was grown in 2000 and reached a height of 19.8m. 
  64. The tomatoes used by McDonald's in the UK are grown in Spain or Holland.
  65. The time taken for tomatoes to grow varies from approximately 50-100 days.
  66. There is an Italian restaurant in London called the Ripe Tomato.
  67. The thickness of Heinz Tomato Ketchup means that it leaves the bottle at a rate of half an inch per second.
  68. On average, Americans eat 22-24 pounds of tomatoes per person every year. 
  69. Heirloom tomatoes are passed down through generations and have increased in popularity lately due to their unique qualities.
  70. My Nanny has 32 tomato plants in her greenhouse!
a red tomato growing in the greenhouse

a red tomato growing in the greenhouse

I hope this post made you laugh as much as it made me as I researched and wrote it! Happy 70th Birthday Nanny!!!


Have you got any more interesting facts about tomatoes?


P.S. Sorry for this completely random (and very weird) blog post!


70 facts about tomatoes to celebrate my Nanny's 70th birthday!