"A Brief History of Foods" is mostly aimed at improving my knowledge on the origins of the foodstuffs commonly eaten in Britain throughout its long history. Over the years I have been surprised to learn how few of our commonly used ingredients are actually native to these shores, and just how many were introduced, when and by whom. Perhaps you too might discover something new and quite interesting.The tomato is the edible, often red fruit/berry of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. The species originated in the South American Andes and its use as a food began in Mexico, spreading throughout the world following the Spanish colonisation of the Americas.
Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica used the fruit in their cooking. The exact date of domestication is unknown: by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas. The large, lumpy variety of tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.