Gustavo Araoz, Facility and Production Coordinator at ICAT, has shown off his gardening skills, and shared the fruits of his labor with everyone in the ICAT Admin suite today. I love fresh homegrown tomatoes from the garden, so I thought I would drop some 'mater facts this afternoon as I enjoy a BLT.
The edible berry of the Solanum lycopersicum plant originated in Central and South America, and wasn't documented in European literature until 1544 by Italian Physician and Botanist Pietro Andrea Mattioli, although he described it as an eggplant. 🍆
When the tomato made its way to France, they called it the love apple. ❤️🍎
Believe it or not, tomato ice cream was a thing in the 18th century. People mixed tomatoes with sugar and cream to create a unique frozen treat. It's safe to say it didn't become as popular as vanilla or chocolate. 🍅 🍦
Tomatoes caused quite the stir in the late 19th century when the question of whether they were a fruit or a vegetable reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled them as vegetables for tariff purposes. Talk about a saucy debate! 🍅 🤓
The term "tomato paradox" refers to the fact that tomatoes, while botanically a fruit, are commonly used as a vegetable in cooking. This culinary classification contradicts the botanical definition. It's a true enigma in the culinary world.
I've just about finished my delicious sandwich, which leaves me time for one more out of this world tomato fact:
Did you know that tomato seeds were taken to space in 1984 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger? They orbited Earth for about six years before returning, and when they were planted, they grew just fine, despite their cosmic journey. 👩🚀 🍅
Gustavo's gesture is a reminder that amidst the rush of innovation and creation, the beauty of nature could ground us. So, as you navigate the corridors in the days ahead, keep an eye out. Who knows when someone's garden generosity might grace the office again, sprinkling a little extra flavor onto your day and reminding us all to appreciate life's simplest, most delicious offerings. 🍅 🎨 ✨