Tomatoes | 8 Foods that Have Travelled through History

Tomatoes

Never has a plant fooled so many. It’s called a vegetable but is really a fruit; it was once thought to be poisonous but is enjoyed by millions; today it is mostly red, but originally it was yellow. The tomato is a native fruit of South America, specifically the Andes region of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, and then made its way northward to Guatemala and Mexico by a prehistoric migration of Native Americans. The word "tomato" is but a slight modification of tomati, the word used by the natives of Mexico, who have grown the plant for food since prehistoric times. Other names reported by early European explorers were tomatl, tumatle, and tomatas, probably variants of Indian words. The Italians and the Spanish were the first to cultivate and eat tomatoes in 1550. Twenty-five years later, the tomato plant was being grown in other European countries as a curiosity, but not for consumption. The French called it pomme d’amour, while the English referred to it as the “love apple”. In Italy it was known as pomo d’oro, leading many to believe that the first tomatoes were yellow.

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