The tomato is the edible, often red, berry of the plant Solanum
commonly known as a tomato plant. The species originated in western South America.
The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl
gave rise to the Spanish word tomate, from which
the English word tomato derived.
Its use as a cultivated food may have
originated with the indigenous
peoples of Mexico.
The Spanish encountered the tomato from their contact with the Aztec during the Spanish
colonization of the Americas and brought it to Europe. From
there, the tomato was introduced to other parts of the
European-colonized world during the 16th century.
Tomatoes are a significant source of umami
The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, raw or cooked, in many dishes,
and drinks. While tomatoes are fruits
classified as berries — they are commonly
used as a vegetable ingredient or side
Numerous varieties of the tomato plant are widely grown in temperate climates
across the world, with greenhouses allowing for the
production of tomatoes throughout all seasons of the year. Tomato
plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height. They
are vines that have a weak stem that sprawls and typically
Indeterminate tomato plants are perennials in their native
habitat, but are cultivated as annuals. Determinate, or
bush, plants are annuals that stop growing at a certain height and
produce a crop all at once. The size of the tomato varies according to
the cultivar, with a range of 0.5–4
inches (1.3–10.2 cm) in width.
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