The History Of Tomatoes And Their Simple Beginnings
Where did our common tomato originate? What knowledge do we have of the tomatoes simple beginnings?
As far as we know the tomato originated in western South America. These species of tomatoes, were a far cry from the common red juicy tomato we know of today. There is genetic verification that reveals that the tomato originated from herb-like green plants with small green colored furry fruit that is about a centimeter across.
Author:John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org Copyright: CC Attribution
These wild tomato species can still be found growing in Peru and Ecuador. Most wild tomatoes prefer dry growing conditions but can be found in all sorts of environments. They prefer growing in the deserts and dry valleys but can also be found in the fog saturated Cloud Forests from the western slopes to above the snow line of Andes mountains in Peru, South America.
When Do You Think The History Of Tomatoes Began?
The history of tomatoes is believed to originate as far back as somewhere between 500AD and 700AD, where exactly, and when we will never know for sure. It is believed that our present day tomato originated from the berry-like wild tomato that grows on the western coast of South America. In Peru today there are still around 8 species of wild tomatoes that grow in the Andes Mountains. The range of the wild tomato up to this time still grows in Chile, Ecuador and even as far as the Galapagos Islands so pinpointing where it all began in not always an easy task.
At some point of time in the history of tomatoes, somebody must have thought that it would be easier to plant and grow tomatoes rather then going out and picking them from the wild. You might say this was our first tomato gardener. Even though, tomatoes are believed to have originated in the region of Peru, there is no indication that the tomato was farmed there.
Somehow, an unidentified ancestor of the wild tomato made it’s way north to Central America a few thousand years before the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the early 16th century. By this time, the tomato was widely cultivated in the Yucatan region which is presently known as Mexico. Here, the tomato more than likely was domesticated and started it’s transformation from the wild berry-like tomato of the Andes Mountains to the tomato we are more familiar with today.
A Little Look At The Country Of Peru Where The History Of Tomatoes Originated
Here is a video that will give you a little taste of Peru.
History of Tomatoes – Cortez The Spanish Explorer Discovers the Domesticated Tomato
In the 16th century, Cortez led his Spanish Conquistadors in Central America and conquered Tenochtitlan the Aztec City, which was later named Mexico City. It was assumed that the tomato found its way shortly after across the Atlantic Ocean. The Spanish explorers spread the tomato seeds all through their colonies in the Caribbean.
From there, the tomato seed was distributed through out the Philippines and the entire continent of Asia.
Want Learn About The More History Of Tomatoes?
Here are some additional books that you might find interesting the will give you a more indepth look into the History of Tomatoes.
The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and CookeryPomodoro!: A History of the Tomato in Italy (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)Tomatoes, Potatoes, Corn, and Beans: How the Foods of the Americas Changed Eating Arou