gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 83

Cathy's Kitchen by Cathy Katavich Tomatoes At least that’s my opinion! Tomatoes are one of the true joys of summer. As a cook, when you get that fi rst really ripe tomato, perhaps straight from your garden, it’s memorable! Some would argue that tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable, and they would be correct. Botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit, but agriculturally and for culinary purposes, a tomato is a vegetable. Tomatoes originated around the area of modern-day Peru and were fi rst used as a food by the Aztecs in Southern Mexico. The Spanish introduced the tomato to Europe in the early 16th century, and the Spanish and Italians were the fi rst Europeans to adopt it as a food. Tomatoes were introduced to North America from Europe. Thomas Jefferson is known to have raised them at Monticello in 1781 but they did not become popular in the United States until the early 20th century. Types of Tomatoes There are over 7500 varieties of tomatoes, and new hybrids and heirlooms are introduced every year. Most tomatoes are red, but other colors include yellow, green, orange, purple, white, brown and black. The most common types include: Slicing Tomatoes This is the classic tomato, round