24 Tomato Facts For Kids That’ll Surprise You

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in the world.

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene.

They are used in many different dishes, from pizza and pasta to salads and soup.

But how much do you really know about this juicy fruit?

Please enjoy these tomato facts and bits of interesting tomato trivia.


It's thought that tomatoes originally came from Peru.

Tomatoes aren't always red.
They can be yellow, pink, purple, black and even white!

There are around 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide!

The English term tomato is derived from the Spanish term tomate.
Well, it's derived from another term from an ancient Aztec language (Nahuatl) term tomatl, which, when translated to English means a swelling fruit.

The first tomatoes in Europe may originally have been yellow.
They were first referred to in writing as "pomo d'oro", meaning "golden apple".

Around 1550, Italians were the first Europeans to grow and cook with tomatoes. The plants were grown in other parts of Europe soon after, but usually as an ornamental showpiece and not for food.

Tomatoes are the only fruits that possess an umami flavor.

Tomatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch.
A cup of raw tomatoes has more than 2 grams of fiber. They are also a healthy source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.
And lycopene, an antioxidant that gives most tomatoes their red color, has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Tomatoes are basically water!
It might sound surprising, but 95% of a tomato's mass is made up of water, with the remaining 4% consisting of carbohydrates. Its protein and fat content are both under the last 1%!

Roma Tomatoes, a plum tomato variety cultivated in Mexico, Australia, and the United States, are shaped eerily similar to eggs.

Also referred to as Teardrop Tomatoes, the Pear Tomatoes are named exactly after what they look like: a pear. However, they're much smaller than pears in size and occur in yellow, orange, and red varieties (yellow being the most common one).
Pear Tomatoes originated in Europe in the 18th century and were most often used in flavoring soups.

The largest tomato plant covers an area of 85.46 m² (919.88 ft²) and was grown by Aleph Inc. (Japan) at Tomato-no-mori in Ecorin-mura, in Eniwa, Hokkaido, Japan.

The Guinness World Records' record for the heaviest tomato weighed 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz) and was grown by G. Graham (USA) of Edmond, Oklahoma, USA in 1986.

La Tomatina is an annual festival in Spain, where people throw 150,000 tomatoes at each other.

Did you know Heinz Tomato Ketchup has a speed limit? If the yummy sauce pours at more than 0.028mph when it's in the Heinz Tomato Ketchup factory, it's considered too runny and rejected!

Americans eat about 30 pounds of tomatoes a year, which are typically canned or in sauces (especially on pizza). Second only to potatoes as most popular vegetable, tomatoes also beat out apples, our country's favorite fruit.

In Ohio, USA, they love tomatoes so much that tomato juice is the official state drink!

The tomato is the official fruit or vegetable for several states.
Tennessee and Ohio have claimed it as their state fruit,
New Jersey says it's a veggie,
and Arkansas designated it as both.
Even the Supreme Court has weighed in on this debate!

Related: Is A Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

On average, a medium-sized tomato typically contains around 150-300 seeds.
This number can increase or decrease depending on factors such as the type of tomato, its ripeness, and the growing conditions.

Tomato seedlings have been grown in space before!

California is the leading tomato-producing state in the United States.
Among the states of our country that grow tomatoes, California takes the lead, being the only major contributor accounting for over 80% of the total tomato production in the United States.

China is the leading tomato-producing country in the world.
Although tomatoes originated in the Americas, their production today is more widespread and prevalent in Asian countries. China ranks first on this list and is followed by India, and Turkey.

The leaves and stems of tomato plants are toxic!
All tomato plants contain tomatine, a glycoalkaloid found in all the green parts of the plants that can be toxic to humans when consumed in large quantities.
So, do the fruits of these plants not contain tomatine at all? Well, they do, but in such a low concentration that they're harmless to us.

April 6th is celebrated as World Tomato Day to honor the tomato and to recognize its importance in the culinary world. The day promotes the consumption of tomatoes in order to improve one's health.

Taste of Home / Guinness World Records / Rockets Garden / Our World In Data / Tomato Dirt