National Tomato Day

Happy person holding a tomato, surrounded by a vibrant vegetable garden, wearing a chef's hat and apron, with a sunny outdoor setting..
National tomato day illustration

Welcome to the sauciest article you'll read all day! Today we're diving deep into the juicy world of National Tomato Day. Get ready to ketchup on all the tomato-licious fun!

When is Tomato Day?

It's national tomato day on the 6th April.

A Brief History of National Tomato Day

Tomatoes have been a staple of our diets for centuries, and it's only fitting that they have their very own day of celebration. National Tomato Day is a time to savor the tangy, sweet, and versatile fruit (yes, it's technically a fruit, but don't tell the vegetable fans!). Whether you're slicing them on a sandwich, making a homemade marinara sauce, or growing your own tomatoes in the garden, this day is all about giving the tomato the recognition it deserves.

The Internet Buzz

On April 6, 2018, the internet exploded with a whopping 31 mentions of National Tomato Day! From mouthwatering recipes to tomato-themed memes, people couldn't resist sharing their love for this vibrant red beauty.

Tomato Fun Facts

Did you know that tomatoes were once feared and even considered poisonous? Back in the 18th century, the acidic nature of tomatoes caused people to believe that they were toxic. Thankfully, we now know that they're perfectly safe and oh-so-delicious!

History behind the term 'Tomato'

15th century

Introduction in Europe

Tomatoes were introduced in Europe after the Spanish colonization of the Americas. They were brought back to Spain in the early 16th century and quickly gained popularity among the Spanish aristocracy due to their vibrant color and unique flavor. Initially, tomatoes were considered ornamental plants and were not commonly consumed.


The Introduction of Tomatoes in Europe

Tomatoes were first introduced to Europe in the late 16th century. In 1595, a Spanish explorer named Hernán Cortés brought tomato seeds back from Mexico. However, initially, they were primarily grown as ornamental plants, admired for their vibrant colors rather than consumed as food.

18th century

Cultivation in Europe

By the 18th century, tomatoes started to be cultivated as a food crop in Europe. However, there was widespread confusion and misunderstanding surrounding their classification. Many believed tomatoes to be poisonous due to their relation to other nightshade plants, which were known to be toxic. This misconception limited their consumption and commercialization.

18th Century

Tomatoes' Reputation as Poisonous

During the 18th century, tomatoes gained a negative reputation as being poisonous. This reputation was due to the fact that many wealthy Europeans used pewter plates, which contained high amounts of lead. The high acidity of tomatoes would cause the lead to leach into the food, resulting in lead poisoning. People associated the symptoms of lead poisoning with the consumption of tomatoes, leading to the belief that they were poisonous.

19th century

Tomato acceptance and popularity

In the 19th century, the popularity of tomatoes grew as people began to realize their nutritional value and health benefits. Slowly, the tomato shed its association with poisonous plants. In Italy, the tomato became a staple ingredient in cuisine, leading to the development of classic dishes like pizzas and pasta sauces. Tomato-based dishes spread across Europe, and the tomato gained acceptance and popularity as a versatile ingredient.


Tomatoes Start Gaining Popularity in America

Tomatoes began gaining popularity in the United States during the early 19th century. In 1820, Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson publicly ate tomatoes in Salem, New Jersey, to demonstrate that they were safe to consume. This act helped dispel the myth of tomatoes being poisonous and encouraged their wider acceptance in American cuisine.


The Heinz Ketchup Revolution

In 1887, the H.J. Heinz Company introduced tomato ketchup, revolutionizing the way people enjoyed tomatoes. With the addition of sugar and vinegar, ketchup masked the sometimes tart and acidic flavor of tomatoes, making it a popular condiment. Heinz ketchup became an iconic brand and further solidified the tomato's status as a staple ingredient in many dishes.

20th century

Cultivation in the United States

In the early 20th century, tomatoes were successfully cultivated on a large scale in the United States. They became an integral part of American cuisine and were widely used in various recipes, including ketchup, tomato soups, and salads. The commercialization of tomatoes led to the development of canned tomato products, making them available year-round.

Modern era

Global popularity

Today, tomatoes are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world, although botanically classified as a vegetable due to legal definitions. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, offering a diverse range of flavors. Tomatoes are used in numerous culinary traditions worldwide, adding a tangy and refreshing kick to countless dishes, and are enjoyed both raw and cooked.

20th Century

Tomatoes' Versatility and Culinary Significance

During the 20th century, tomatoes gained worldwide popularity and recognition for their culinary significance. They are used in a myriad of dishes, such as sauces, soups, salads, and even as the base for tomato-based drinks like Bloody Mary. Tomatoes are now regarded as a versatile and essential ingredient in cuisines across the globe.

Did you know?

Tomatoes are 95% water, which makes them an excellent hydrating snack!


awareness food fun

First identified

1st June 2015

Most mentioned on

6th April 2018

Total mentions


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