Tomatoes are ripening in greenhouses all over the country by now. The outside crop unfortunately failed again this year at most places as the weather was more than unkind to growing this warmth loving vegetable, or is it a fruit? Everything has happened this year what tomatoes don’t like: sitting in cold water, cold days and nights, strong wind, no sunshine. The above big-bite sized cherry tomatoes are the heirloom Black Cherry tomato, which is one of the tastiest cherry tomatoes you can grow. The fruits are a bit bigger than the Gardener’s Delight for example but still can call it a cherry.
Where they come from?
Tomatoes originally come from South and Central America. Some research trace the tomato all the way back to Peru. Where the fruits were small and green, yellow in colour. The breeding over the centuries made the fruits bigger and red in colour. Nowadays the heirloom varieties are very popular especially amongst us home gardeners; as they produce a more delicious fruit in expense of productivity and uniformity. The exact date of domestication is not know but it is thought that the Aztecs in central Mexico were the first to grow tomatoes for the edible fruits.
Bit of European history
A french botanist gave the Latin botanical name Lycopersicon esculentum which means ‘wolfpeach’ – peach because it is juicy and wolf because it is thought to be poisonous back then. Tomato comes direct from the Spanish ‘tomate’ which comes from ‘tomatl’ the language of the Aztecs’. The ones reached Europe most probably produced yellow fruits as the Italian word for tomato – pomidoro – means yellow apples. The first nation to embrace this truly wonderful plant in Europe was the Italians, where tomato is one of the most if not the most traditional vegetable. In Italy tomatoes were grown from the beginning of the 16th century, while in Britain in the the 1590s.