Brenda Duchene

Country of origin: Aruba
Plant: Tomato plant

The tomato is the edible, often red berry-type fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant, which belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The species originated in Central and South America. The Aztec word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word tomate, where the English word tomato comes from. Its many varieties are widely grown, sometimes in greenhouses in cooler climates. The plants typically grow to 1–3m in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and grown as an annual in temperate climates.

Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks.