The tomato that we know and love today has gone through many incarnations – and even traveled the world – before finding its way to our plates. This food is technically a fruit, though considered a vegetable in culinary circles. After all, as British Journalist Miles Kington famously said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.”
The tomato, like many of our daily staples, (corn, chocolate, and coffee) finds its origins in the area that is now present-day Mexico. It was a favorite among Mesoamericans, and was frequently used in cooking. When Spanish Conquistadors took control of the area in the 1500s, they introduced the popular fruit all across their colonies, from the Caribbean to the Philippines to Europe. It spread like wildfire, becoming a new favorite in many diets, growing easily and heartily in tropical climates. And thus, the globalization of the tomato began.