Tomato Trivia …


If you’re anything like me – and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be (don’t answer that) – then you love a good, flavor-packed, vine ripened, locally-grown tomato. Those imported supermarket super models, whose tomato qualities are only skin deep, just don’t make the grade. So I’m more than a little excited to tell you that Jane’s Dimond Hill delicious tomatoes will soon be ready for harvest onto the farm stand shelves where you can pick some up and bring ‘em on home.

Unusually cool spring weather has delayed this year’s crop a bit, but the recent warmer weather has jump-started the ripening process. Jane’s best guess is that we’ll be into tomato time before the end of June. So keep checking our Facebook page, and this website, for the latest tomato countdown information.

So to pass the time until then, I thought I’d give you guys a little tomato trivia quiz. Let’s see how much you really know about our favorite vegetable … or is it a fruit???

  1. According to the US Supreme Court, is a tomato a vegetable or a fruit?
  2. How many pounds of tomatoes does the average American eat in a year?
    1. 12-14 pounds
    2. 16-20 pounds
    3. 22-24 pounds
    4. 26-30 pounds
  3. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most tomatoes grown from a single plant in a year is:
    1. 1,654 tomatoes
    2. 12,457 tomatoes
    3. 24,054 tomatoes
    4. 32,194 tomatoes
  4. The world’s heaviest tomato weighed in at:
    1. 5 lbs 6 ozs
    2. 6 lbs 2 ozs
    3. 7 lbs 12 ozs
    4. 9 lbs 2 ozs
  5. The top three tomato producing countries are:
    1. China, United States, India
    2. United States, Russia, Italy
    3. United States, China, Venezuela
    4. Estonia, Tajikistan, Montenegro
  6. The top tomato producing state in the US is:
    1. California
    2. Florida
    3. Texas
    4. Ohio
  7. The scientific name for tomato is “lycopersicon lycopersicum”, which means:
    1. Wolf Peach
    2. Golden Apple
    3. Love Apple
    4. Plump Thing with a Navel
  8. According to the Heinz Tomato Ketchup company, the correct speed limit for ketchup is:
    1. .01 mph
    2. .0025 mph
    3. .028 mph
    4. .1 mph


  • In the 1890s, the US Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether a tomato was a vegetable or a fruit. An enterprising tomato importer wanted tomatoes officially classified as a fruit, because it was botanically labeled a fruit and because it would save him some money. While the US had import taxes on vegetables, there was no such tax on imported fruit. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, and after much deliberation, the court ruled 4-3 that the tomato was a vegetable … basically because it was typically served with the meal and not as a dessert. However, states still disagree on the matter, as the tomato is the state vegetable of New Jersey but the state fruit of Ohio … Arkansas just couldn’t quite make up its mind on the matter, so the tomato is the state fruit AND the state vegetable.
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes 22-24 pounds of tomatoes each year, most of which is in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.
  • The most prolific tomato plant (well tomato tree, really) was grown by the Epcot Science project at Walt Disney World, Fla from May 2005 to April 2006. It produced 32,194 tomatoes. That’s a lot of sauce …
  • The heaviest tomato was grown in Oklahoma in 2013 and weighed in at 7 lbs 12 ozs.
  • The top three tomato producing countries are: China, United States, and India … who would have thought India??
  • The top US tomato producing state is Florida … (I think because there are so many old men retired to Florida and tomatoes are thought to be beneficial for prostate health.)
  • The scientific name for tomato means Wolf Peach. However, the other choices are meaningful, as well. The first tomatoes brought to Europe were yellow and were called “pomo d’ oro” or Golden Apple. Tomatoes are thought to originate in Peru, where the translation of their name is: “plump thing with a navel”. And tomatoes have been called Love Apples in the southern US for longer than any of us has been alive. I can only speculate on the origin of that saying …
  • And the proper speed for tomato ketchup (according to Heinz Company) is … drum roll please … .028 mph! Any faster and the product is considered too watery, any slower and customers have been known to throw the bottle across the room.

Well, there you go … now you’ve got some tomato tidbits to interest and amaze family and friends around the dinner table or over an adult beverage or two. Remember to check out the tomato harvest timing on our Facebook page, or, better yet, drive on up to the Dimond Hill Farm stand and see for yourself.

You can take a peek at all our new products, enjoy the spectacular views and maybe even get to impress Jane with your tomato savvy. I wouldn’t hold out my hopes if I were you, however … whenever I try to impress Jane with my wit and wisdom, I just get a blank stare and a slight shake of the head before she walks off muttering to herself.

Well, nuff said …

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