Tomato fruit is one of popular foods in our kitchen. It could be eaten raw or joined in many cooking recipes or decorated. Besides the great color when ripen, tomato is also a great nutritional source for our meal. Let find out about this fruit.
History of tomato
Although the exact time was not specification, tomato fruit was believed to native to America. It was evolved from a green small berry fruit from Peru highland. The fruit was cultivated in Mexico around 500 years BC and was then spread to other regions of America. Around 15th, 16th century, tomato was brought into Europe. It was spread to the Caribbean and Philippines by the Spanish at the same time. From Philippines, this fruit was widely grown in other regions of Asia. Tomato was cultivated in North America in early of 18th century. By the end of 18th century and early of 19th century, it was introduced to the Middle East.
Till now, tomato fruit is popularly cultivated and used as food in many regions around the world.
Tomato is fruit of tomato flowering plant, a member of nightshade family Solanacea. Tomato plant is mostly vine. It was actually perennial plant but usually cultivated as annual plant. It is also suitable with vary climate condition and so, is cultivated in many areas around the world.
Tomato fruits are mostly red when ripen, but could be other color such as yellow, orange, and green, black, purple or even has stripe. The outside of tomato fruit is smooth, shiny and berry looked and the inside is flesh with seeds. Although is a true fruit, but tomato is lower in sugar level than the others.
Tomato as food
There is 95% of water in tomato fruit. It is also a source of vitamin C and other substances, besides, a little amount of fat and protein.
Tomato is used widely as vegetable in cooking. It is popularly used in salads, soups and sauces. It is also used to make juice.
There are researches that the lycopene (an antioxidant) value in tomato would be increased when it is cooked. So it is believed that cooked tomato fruit is more helpful for our health than raw one.
However tomato fruit still could be eaten raw or made juice when ripen. Tomato juice is popular in many areas, and is considered to have good affect to the skin. Besides the juice, tomato fruit could be used to make natural skin mask to help the skin become healthier.