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5+ A Day

Tomatoes

Tomatoes
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Availability

Available all year round.

 

Storage and Handling

Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, do not refrigerate as they will lose flavour. Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.

 

History

Tomatoes are native to South America and were originally grown for their decorative purposes.

 

Facts and Varieties

  • The tomato is actually a fruit but is considered a vegetable because of its uses
  • Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family along with potatoes, eggplant, and peppers
  • They are all distantly related to deadly nightshade and for this reason were for a long time thought to be poisonous. This fear was gradually overcome, and by the 19th century they were very popular
  • They were affectionately known as “pommes d'amour” by the French, or apples of love
  • There are many varieties of tomatoes sold in New Zealand.  Among those marketed by name are acid free, beef steak, cherry or cocktail
  • Indoor tomatoes:  there are many varieties grown indoors in glass houses. Most of the tomatoes we buy in New Zealand have been grown indoors
  • Outdoor tomatoes: depending on variety outdoor tomatoes tend to have a lumpier and flatter shape than indoor tomatoes.  They are available from mid-January until mid-March, sometimes longer depending on the weather
  • Acid-free tomatoes have firmer flesh, fewer seeds and less juice. They are oval and come in various sizes
  • Beef steak tomatoes are big, fleshy tomatoes often used in cooking
  • Cocktail or cherry tomatoes are small and are red or yellow

 

Growing Facts

  • Plant from September through to December (after the risk of frost has passed)
  • Tomatoes can grow in troughs, pots or hānging baskets
  • Tomatoes are frost tender and should be sheltered or covered in cooler temperatures
  • Tomatoes require feeding and this usually enhances their flavor

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 127g - 1 tomato, raw

Avg Quantity per serving Avg Quantity per 100g
Energy (kJ/Cal) 105/25 83/20
Protein (g) 1.0 0.8
Fat, total (g) 0.5 0.4
- saturated (g) trace trace
Carbohydrate (g) 3.4 2.7
- sugars (g) 3.4 2.7
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.5 1.2
Sodium (mg) 1 1
Vitamin C (mg) 30.5 24
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 117 92
Niacin (mg) 1.3 1.0
Potassium (mg) 305 240
Vitamin E (mg) 0.98 0.77
Riboflavin (mg) trace trace

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 8th Edition, Plant & Food Research

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