The GardenZeus Quick and Easy History of Tomato Cultivation

The GardenZeus Quick and Easy History of Tomato Cultivation

The original species tomato is believed native to South America and Central America, and may have been cultivated by the Aztecs and earlier cultures for hundreds of years by the time the Aztec Empire fell to Hernán Cortés in 1521 CE. Spanish explorers and colonizers likely brought the first tomatoes to Spain in the late 15th Century or early 16th Century, after which they spread throughout Europe. Tomatoes were grown by European colonizers in North America by the early 18th Century. While many now consider tomatoes a staple kitchen vegetable, in their early decades and centuries in many Western countries and North American colonies, tomatoes were slow to be adopted as food, often considered poisonous, and used primarily as ornamental plants.

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