There was a recent article in the The Independent newspaper about the French and their obsession with vegetables. The journalist Emma Townshend was waxing lyrical about her trip to a local French restaurant, where she couldn't quite identify what vegetable formed the basis of the soup she was eating, the waitress, who spoke some English, could only proffer the mysterious vegetables name in French.
The article goes on to applaud the French for their highly nuanced knowledge of vegetables which is cultivated from a young age, apparently children under the age of six can decipher between the leaves of a mache and frisee lettuce. To further prove the point, French Historian and Biographer, Evelyne Bloch-Dano has just released a biography of .....you guessed it.....the vegetable. The book focuses on everything from Christopher Columbus and his initial reaction to tasting a chilli in the Americas to 'the allotments created by starving 1945 Berliners among the ruins of shelled houses "Lifes revenge over death"...you can read more of Townshends review here: reference.
The humble tomato contains large amounts of lycopene which assists the body in the fight against cancer. Not only does lycopene prevent numerous cancers from developing, it has been proven to stop the growth of pre-existing cancer cell structures within the body and additionally it is not denatured or affected by heat so your Italian pasta sauces are actually quite good for you....reference.