Tennessee State Foods
Tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, is technically a perennial fruit, though it’s typically grown as an annual and eaten as a vegetable. Tomato plants usually have bright, mid-green, narrow, branched leaves and stems covered in silvery hairs. Most tomatoes are oval to round with a smooth, thin, orange-red skin, but some are yellow or green when ripe. Inside, the tomato has soft flesh only a little lighter than its skin with pockets of clear liquid and small, flat beige seeds. Size varies a lot, from thumbnail-sized cherry tomatoes to varieties that weigh over a pound. Tomatoes are an ingredient in sauces, salads, sandwiches, and soups almost worldwide.
Tennessee’s climate is particularly suited to tomato growing, so the state consistently produces more tomatoes than any other fruit. Tomato season in Tennessee runs from about the middle of June to the middle of October. Nashville hosts a Tomato Art Festival each August.