This tomato salad just broke the Guinness World Record
Let the lycopene loose! Largest display of tomato varieties includes more than 130 different types.
A thousand pounds of tomato salad had New York's iconic Times Square seeing red. And it's all for a good cause.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of its founding in Israel, an wellness company called Lycored created the largest display of tomato varieties ever recorded, with 132 different types of the nutrient-packed fruit on display. After that was finished, Lycored staff whipped up a giant tomato salad with herbs, cherry tomatoes and a red wine citrus vinaigrette in a huge wok in the middle of the busy tourist area, as passersby curiously watched. Half was given out as a free, healthy lunch to anyone who wanted it, and the other half was donated to food rescue nonprofit City Harvest.
The goal, organizers said, was about more than breaking records or attracting tourists. With October being National Tomato Month, Lycored wanted to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been known to help protect against multiple illnesses and promote healthy living.
Lycored's epic ode to tomatoes earned the company not one, but two world records: one for the largest display of tomato varieties, and the other for the largest tomato salad. A pair of farmers from Berks County, Pa., said they supplied more than 800 pounds of tomatoes for the event.
By turning Times Square into what organizers called a "free-flowing tomato wonderland," the company was able to spread its message of wellness around one of the world's most popular gathering places.
"There is no magic pill; wellness is a way of life," Zev Ziegler, Lycored's vice president of marketing, told NJ.com. "We wanted (a big way) to share with consumers the importance of the commitment that we make everyday."
But the event did something else, too: it gave everyday citizens a relatively small glimpse of just how many tomato varieties there are in the world. To verify the exact number of varieties on display that day, Lycored tapped horticulturist Monica Ozores-Hampton of the University of Florida to act as the event's official "tomato expert."
"There are literally thousands of varieties of tomatoes,” Ozores-Hampton told Medical Daily. “This is nothing compared with the diversity that we have. There are more varieties being made as we speak.”
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