“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”
-- Alice May Brock
Did you know that ...
- There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, from small cherry ones to Ponderosa, which can weigh over three pounds.
- The tomato – the fruit for which Burpee is most famous – first grew as wild, cherry-sized berries in the South American Andes. The tomato as we know it today was developed in Mexico.
- Tomatoes are the world’s most popular fruit! More than 60 million tons are produced every year. That’s 16 million tons more than No.2 — the banana.
- Tomatoes are the fruit of a vine that’s native to South America.
- Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is abundant in tomatoes and tomato products, is widely thought to help in the prevention of a variety of maladies.
- Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. One medium tomato provides 40% of the recommended daily amount!
- Borage flowers can be prepared in an infusion and served as cold or hot tea.
- Watermelons are actually vegetables, related to pumpkins, cucumbers and squash.
- Watermelons are healthy! They contain no fat or cholesterol and are high in fiber content, potassium and vitamins A and C.
- The world record-holding watermelon was more than 260 lbs.
- The first cookbook that was published in 1176 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
- Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. They contain twice as much (by weight) as citrus fruits!
- Ancient Greeks and Romans thought basil would only grow if you screamed wild curses and shouted while sowing the seeds.
- Basil is a great source of vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- Basil oil is a traditional treatment for insect bites and bee stings.
- Cilantro was one of the plants growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon more than 2,500 years ago!
- Cilantro is a member of the carrot family.
- Cucumbers are believed to have originated more than 10,000 years ago in southern Asia.
- Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable.
- Although considered a vegetable when cooking, squash is actually a fruit.
- Squash is a great source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
- Eggplants are members of the potato family.
- People of many cultures going back to ancient Greece have used thyme to flavor cheeses and liquors.
- An old English tradition is to plant large patches of thyme as playgrounds for faeries.
- Got a cold? Green sweet bell peppers have twice the vitamin C of oranges. Red and yellow bell peppers have four times as much.
- Onions, apples and potatoes all have the same taste. The difference in flavor is caused by their smell. Pinch your nose and try it – they will all taste sweet.
- Broccoli and cauliflower are the only vegetables that are also flowers!.
- Ounce for ounce, Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk.
- Onions make you cry because they are full of sulphuric chemicals, which irritate your tear ducts. Sulphur is the same gas which is produced by volcanoes when they erupt.