History of the Tomato

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History of the Tomato - Provided by eHow
The tomato was first discovered around 500 AD by the Aztecs and was then brought back to Europe, where it became popular in Italy. Find out how immigrants brought tomato plants to the United States with information from a horticulturist in this free... View Video Transcript

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Stan DeFreitas

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Stan DeFreitas, Mr. Green Thumb. We're at Willow Tree Nursery, in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Let's talk about the history of tomatoes. Tomato, tomato, whatever you want to call it; some people call it a beautiful vegetable. Some people like to call it a fruit. Doesn't really matter, but we can tell you the history of the tomato; that it was in the Americas where it was first found, probably about 500 a.d., by the Aztecs. Now, of course, Europeans came to the new world. They took the tomato back to Europe, and there it had mixed blessings. In some places where they were using pewter silverware and flatware they had too much lead in their flatware; aah, and the rich people got what? They got sick with lead poisoning, so a lot of folks had a bad slant on the tomato. Now, for the poorer folks, there's always an advantage to being poor, they used wood, and where they had wood and wood instruments to eat with they didn't have the lead poisoning. Tomatoes really took off in Italy. In Italy, of course, it was much beloved, and of course we think of tomatoes, we think of pizzas. We think of it of being a fruit that was much used in Europe. Now, of course, it was brought by many of the immigrants to The United States of America, and in America after the civil war it became a very important fruit, or let's call it a vegetable. Some cases, for tax reasons it was called a fruit, and some other reasons it was called a vegetable, also for the same tax reasons. Today, we call it a vegetable, but depending if you are a scientist or not we can call it either. What we can call it, delicious. There's a number of different varieties, and we actually have millions of pounds of tomatoes that are grown in America. It's the number one produced vegetable in America, and why? Because, it's a beautiful plant that produces a great fruit for salads and many other dishes. Stan DeFreitas, Mr. Green Thumb, askmrgreenthumb.com.