Tomato – Tomaatti
Solanum lycopersicum

Solaniceae family

The tomato is often red, round and tasty, perhaps even the most cultivated plant in the world. Botanically, a tomato is a berry. Tomatoes often have a long vine, but bushy varieties have also been bred. Tomatoes are easy and fun to grow, because they are productive and grow big. However, tomato plants require a very sunny, warm place that is also protected from rain and wind. Tomato contains a lot of vitamin C and lycopene, which has been found to prevent depression and prostate cancer.

The Peruvian Indians used the tomato as early as around 500 BC. At the beginning in Europe, the tomato was suspected to be poisonous and it often ended up being just a decoration. Many tuberose plants have poisonous parts. The Spaniards were the first to taste the tomato, which was called the Peruvian apple. The tomato came to Europe and Spain thanks to Columbus’s second voyage of discovery in 1498. However, the tomato did not come to Finland until around the 17th century, but around 100 years ago it became a valued food item among the entire nation. The tomato’s name comes from the Mexican Nahuatl language.

As a food, tomato is an easy and versatile plant. It is used in many sauces, such as the familiar spaghetti sauce, salads, soups and, of course, ketchup. Homemade tomato salsa is also a wonderful treat, which is perfect for accompanying nachos or Mexican food.