Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The history of tomatoes as a crop and growing tomatoes in Florida

Tomatoes: this Peruvian native is now a world-wide favorite

Tomatoes are native to Peru, but
are now a major crop world-wide
The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a classic crop plant that every gardener wants to grow because store-bought tomatoes, which are bred to withstand harsh handling, are often less than delicious. 

BUT... The acceptance of tomatoes as an edible crop was a bit rocky.

The tomato is native to Peru. It’s a member of the nightshade family, which includes some famously poisonous plants such as belladonna, which is native to the Mediterranean area. So, acceptance of tomatoes as an edible crop in Europe was slow. In addition, some of the first tomato cuisine was served to European upper-class people on pewter dishes or with pewter cutlery and the acid in the tomatoes released the lead from that metal, which did actually poison some people. Many people called it the love apple and thought they would die if they ate it.