A tomato is a red fruit often grown in temperate climates. It can be eaten in raw form or used as an ingredient for cooking any dish.

Tomato History

It is the indigenous to South America. It is believed that it was first used by many ancient Mexican ancient civilizations. However historians differ in their opinions on this matter. It is also said that it was first transported to Europe by the Spanish explorer Cortes. When the Spanish colonized America, they distributed tomato to their colonies in the Caribbean and the Philippines, the latter being responsible for its introduction to South East Asia and, ultimately, to the whole of Asia. However, it was not until the 18th century that tomato came to be accepted in North America and Britain as a source of food. Until then, tomato was regarded as unsuitable for eating by many in these regions. It is said that the British introduced tomato to the Middle-East.

They are known to possess one of the most powerful antioxidants, carotene lycopene, which protect the skin against sunburns and keep it fresh. They are a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, although their exact quantities vary according to the variety of the tomato. It is known to reduce breast cancer, head and neck cancer.

Tomato - Fruit or Vegetable?

It is one of the most fiercely fought debates in the world, whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, is still unclear. Since it is the ovary of a plant, it is a fruit. However, it possesses lower sugar content than other fruits, and so is dissimilar to other fruits in that respect. This makes it unfit to be classified as a fruit. Since it is not served as a desert, but rather as a main course component of many dishes or salads, it is taken to be a vegetable. However, there is still an exception here. They can be processed easily in a water bath, without the need of a pressure cooker, while vegetables require to be processed in a pressure cooker. So it is a fruit. The argument goes on without reaching a decisive conclusion. One may wonder that it does not matter, whether it is called a fruit or a vegetable, it is still edible. This is not so. It has legal ramifications. When the United States imposed tariff laws on vegetables, but not on fruits, it became virtually very important to classify tomatoes in the correct category.
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