Thursday, July 17, 2008


"Kamatis", as what it is called in the Philippines, is a herbaceous, usually sprawling plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. I have read a little history of this round, plump vegetable about how the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean, after the Spanish colonization of the Americas. They also took it to the Philippines, whence it moved to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. Reason why we always see tomato plants sprawling just about anywhere - in our backyard, the plant box and even on vacant lots, growing with other plants and grass.

Whether it's eaten raw or cooked, tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things. Taken from Wikipedia, "Lycopene, one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, is present in tomatoes, and, especially when tomatoes are cooked, has been found beneficial in preventing prostate cancer. However, other research contradicts this claim. Tomato extract branded as Lycomato is now also being promoted for treatment of high blood pressure. Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is nutritionally categorized as a vegetable. Since "vegetable" is not a botanical term, there is no contradiction in a plant part being a fruit botanically while still being considered a vegetable."

Cubed fresh tomatoes is ideal as partner for grilled dips and mostly salads. Also goes well with almost anything with soup. The dried variety also is a great ingredient for pasta dishes.