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Mexicans conquer Austria… sorta

8 August 2009

So that’s why Mad Max von Haspburg wanted to be Emperor of Mexico…

(El Universal, 6-August-2009, my translation):

Consuming an average 26 kilos per person per year, the Mexican native red tomato is  the favorite vegetable of Austrians, for whom Saturday (today) is “National Tomato Day”.

The consumption figures come from a study of AMA, the authority responsible for overseeing the national agricultural market.  In 2008, Austrians consumed  about 34 tons of red tomatoes, or about 80.5 million individual tomatoes.

Today, this red vegetables of different sizes is imported from other regions of the European Union, but also cultivated and harvested in about 185 hectares of Austria, mainly in less mountainous regions in the east near the border with Hungary and Slovakia.

The Aztecs called it “Tomatlan”,  from which both the Spanish and German name for the fruit derives its name, although in German the tomato is also known as “Paradeiser,” a term that evokes the idea of a “taste of Heaven”.

The red tomato is known mostly as “jitomate” in Mexico, although the RAE (Real Academia Española) accepts for “tomate” and “jitomate” as legitimate names.

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