The tomato is the edible berry of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as the tomato plant. The species originated in western South America, Mexico, and Central America.
The Nahuatl word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word tomate, from which the English word tomato was derived. Its domestication and use as a cultivated food may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico.
The Aztecs used tomatoes in their cooking at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. After the Spanish encountered the tomato for the first time after their contact with the Aztecs, they brought the plant to Europe, in a widespread transfer of plants known as the Columbian exchange.
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 flavour. They are consumed in diverse ways: raw or cooked, and in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are fruits—botanically classified as berries—they are commonly used culinarily as a vegetable ingredient or side dish.
Tomatoes are botanically defined as fruits because they form from a flower and contain seeds. Still, they’re most often utilized like a vegetable in cooking.
In fact, the US Supreme Court ruled in 1893 that the tomato should be classified as a vegetable on the basis of its culinary applications.
Tomatoes supply vitamin A, which supports immunity, vision, and skin health, and vitamin K, which is good for your bones.
Tomatoes also provide potassium, an essential nutrient for heart function, muscle contractions, and maintaining healthy blood pressure and fluid balance.
Read more about the health benefits of tomatoes.