Tomato Facts, History and Geography
- According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest tomato was recorded in 1986 in Oklahoma and had a weight of 3.5 kg (7.7lbs).
- Tomato fruit can slightly increase its weight even after harvest.
- Around 9,000 varieties of tomatoes are grown worldwide.
- Τhe first who systematically grew tomatoes are believed to be the Mexicans.
- It was the Spaniards who spread the cultivation in Europe during the 16th century.
- The first tomatoes grown in Europe were yellow.
- Cooked tomatoes provide the body with more lycopene than raw tomatoes do.
- Flavr Savr (also known as CGN-89564-2), a genetically modified tomato, was the first commercially grown genetically modified food that was licensed for human consumption.
Tomato’s scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum and is a member of the Solanaceae family. This family also includes other commonly used vegetables like potatoes, peppers, and many others. It is a perennial plant, although most producers grow it as an annual.
Tomatoes originated from South America (Peru) and were spread to Europe through Spanish people during the Spanish colonization in the 16th century. The first people who grew tomatoes systematically were most probably the Mexicans. Nowadays, we can find tomatoes almost everywhere in the globe; however, the five areas with the most significant tomato production are:
- European Union