This plant is
indigenous American and it grew from Mexico to Peru’. The tomato was called tomatl in the Nahuatl language
which was spoken by the Aztecs. When America was discovered,
the Spanish disseminated the tomato in Spain and from there to
the Mediterranean countries, then to the Philippines and the Asian
In Italy the tomato came through Morocco, in fact when the Moors were driven out
of Spain in the beginning of the 16th century, they came
and took with them the tomatoes’ seeds. From there it was introduced to Italyand called pomo
dei Mori, Moor’s apple.
A naturalist, Pier Andrea Mattioli published in 1544 Commentaries where he described
the Pomo dei Mori as a golden apple, the Pomo d’oro because of the yellow color; he also noted that Italian
peasants were eating it as a salad with olive oil, salt and pepper.
The original word tomati was transformed in the English language as
Around the 17th century many varieties of tomatoes were
introduced in the Mediterranean area, and used only as ornamental bushes, because it was believed that the
tomato was poisonous. It was not until the 18th century
that the tomato was accepted as an edible fruit.
The most popular
types of tomato are beefsteak, the globe and the plum, also the Brandywine, Cherry, Roma and many other types;
recently “the vine ripened” tomatoes are widely available and preferred for their taste and
Tomatoes should never be refrigerated because temperature below
50 degrees changes the consistency of the flesh and destroys its taste.
To ripen tomatoes, place fruits in a brown paper bag with an apple, this way the ethylene gas released by the apple
will help the fruits to mature.
The benefits of the tomato to the human body are fundamental.
The high content of lycopene, a potent antioxidants, which is present in the tomato,
have benefits that affect the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases; also the
consumption of tomato is associated with a significantly lower risk of prostate, breast, lung and other types of
cancer, it also helps control coronary heart diseases and other chronic conditions that are the main causes of
death in America and in Europe.