Beefsteak Variety
Paste Variety
Cherry Variety
Standard Variety
Color Classification
Weights & Containers
Identification Chart

Tomatoes Combined.jpg (1031170 bytes)
Tomatoes:  Member of the nightshade family of plants.

Native to South America, had moved up to Central America and Mexico by the time European explorers arrived in the New World.  The native tiny wild fruit was cultivated by our pre-Columbian ancestors and by the time Cortez reached Mexico in 1519, cultivation had already produced fist-sized tomatoes we would recognize today

When Columbus landed in the new world, he noted that the natives ate a small yellow fruit which resembled an apple of gold.  Hence it was given the  the name Pomodoro (apple of gold).  The fist tomatoes taken to Spain were yellow.  Later when Cortez traveled to Techochlan the Aztec Capitol, which is now Mexico City, he observed the natives making sauces from red fruits which they called Nahuatl, or Tomatal and which were not unpleasant to eat.  The natives used the  tomato much like we do today in making sauces and salsas.

Brought back to Spain from Mexico but not used much immediately as it was believed to be poisonous and viewed as an ornamental plant largely until18th century .now a staple in much Italian cooking. However the earliest written mention of the tomato was published in a commentary on Dioscorides by Petrus Matthiolus in 1544 in Venice did mention the consumption of tomatoes.

The first reference to the tomato in the United States is William Salmon's "Botanologia" ( London, 1710).  He speaks to tomatoes in Carolina.  The next report does not come until 1766.  In 1782, Thomas noted that his garden produced tomatoes. However Americans didn't even eat them much until mid-19th century also because of nightshade fears

Asparagus Artichoke Asian Long Bean Beans Broccoli Brussel Sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower Celeriac Celery Chestnut Chickpeas Corn Cucumber Dried Peas & Lentils Eggplant/Aubergine Fennel Fiddlehead Fern Hearts of Palm Kohlrabi Lettuces & Field Greens Loofah Okra Peas Peppers Ramp Rice Sprouts Swamp Cabbage Squash & Pumpkins Tomatillo Tomato Wild Rice

Field Vegetables Root Vegetables Fresh Fruit Tropical Fruit Herbs Spices Mushroom Nuts Produce ID Test