History of Tomatoes

During Colonial Times, we wouldn’t put a tomato near our mouths, let alone try to eat one. Folklore had it that if you ate a tomato, its poison would turn your blood into acid. Instead, the colonists grew tomatoes purely for decoration. Origins and Travels We came around in the end of course, but the tomato bandwagon was almost full before we jumped onto it. Native peoples in South and Central America, where the plant originated, didn’t have any misapprehensions regarding the safety of eating tomatoes. In fact, some sources claim that they regarded tomato seeds as an aphrodisiac. The French name, pomme d’amour, or “apple of love,” suggests that they agreed, though some experts suspect that the name was a misunderstanding of the Spanish “pome dei Moro,” or “apple of the Moors.” Probably the first tomatoes came from what today is Peru, and wild tomatoes can still be found in the Andes. By the time the conquistadors came to Central and South America, there was widespread cultivation of tomatoes, though there’s much debate about where tomatoes were first raised and about exactly how they made their way north to Mexico. It’s also unclear whether Spanish explorers knew about the tomato’s … Continue reading History of Tomatoes