Botanical name: Lycopersicon esculentum P. Miller
There are hundreds of them – varieties of tomato, that is – tiny types like grape, plum, and cherry for snacking pleasure, firm, petite Romas, good for cooked foods, and hefty beefsteak, ideal for BLTs and burgers. The colors can vary as well, from the palest pink to yellow, and even purple. Preparations of tomato are endless: sun-dried, fried green, stew, sauce, paste, ketchup, juice, Bruschetta, veggie soup, pizza, salsa, salad…
Some advice: refrigerating tomatoes halts the ripening process and diminishes the flavor and texture – so don't. For rapid ripening, place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple and let the ethylene gas do its work. Never use metal pans, spoons or storage containers, because impurities and poisons, including aluminum, can be absorbed first by your tomato products, and then your body when ingested. Grow heirloom in your own garden or look for organics to avoid GM tomatoes.