Bit of Tomato History

According to The Oxford Companion to Food, the tomato, or Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato originated in north western South America, but not in its present form of course. It is thought that the original tomato was L. cerasiforme, or perhaps the “currant tomato,” which bears a long spray of tiny red fruits which split on the plant. L. cerasiforme has the greatest genetic similarity, however.

The edible descendant of our tomato ancestor made it’s way up to Mexico and was eventually domesticated/cultivated by the Aztec. There is no evidence that the wild variety of tomato was eaten in their lands of origin. All tomatoes consumed in South America were reintroduced after the Spanish Conquest.

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