Brief History Of The Tomato Origins

For a Botanist, the tomato belong to the fruit category, but for us it is simply a variety of vegetable to which we use in our daily food. While the Supreme Court on the United States made a decision of whether the tomato is really a fruit or a vegetable.

For many of us, we already knew the answer to this question but did you know that at one point of America’s history, the United States Supreme Court had actually decided if the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable?

For a Botanist, the tomato is considered as a fruit. And if taken into the scientific side of it, there is no doubt about it. But since many people in the world used is in soups, sauces, ketchup and other methods of cooking a meal, the Supreme Court of the US had classified the tomato as a vegetable. This ruling happens

in the year 1893.

But first, let us learn about the origins of the tomato. Its wild varieties probably originated in any of these countries like Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. And long before Columbus discovered the New World, the tomato had been cultivated in Mexico. Europeans probably first seen a tomato that came from Mexico.

In Europe, the first cultivation of this vegetable happens in 1554 in Italy. The tomato here was first called as “pomi d’oro” which literary means “apple of gold”. This is because the first tomato variety that reached Europe is the yellow type and thus the term “gold” was associated with it. And after the end of the 16th century, tomatoes are being grown in many gardens of Europe particularly in countries like England, Spain, Italy, and France. But

even though many are growing them, the tomato is still considered as a plant with certain curiosity.

By the middle of the 17th century, people all over Europe were accustomed to the use of tomato as part of their daily food. In the United States, the first person who brought tomato into this country is no less than Thomas Jefferson in the year 1781. But many people in this country consider the tomato as a poisonous plant. Not until the turn of the 19th century that the tomato becomes a popular part of the American’s daily food. And since the tomato was classified as a fruit, the US Supreme court had actually made a decision to put the tomato in the classification of vegetable.

The closest relative of the tomato plant was potatoes and the tobacco plants. To grow a tomato, one must know that the plant needs a longer growing season which has long sunny lights, rich and a well-drained soil. In many parts of the world today, the tomato is being grown in warmer climates but also been grown in hot-houses during winter.



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  • souvik1  16-10-2014

    Very good article Joeldgreat. In India tomotoes are very expensive. Although they are used for making tomato sauce, as vegetable people use them to make curry but add potato, onion and other vegetables also.

    reply 0
  • Kan  18-08-2014
    For me I think the tomato should be considered a fruit,because it can be eaten without cooking it.
    reply 0
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