Fruit and vegetables

Tomato - Solanum lycopersicum

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GeneralitŠ°

Tomato is a solanacea, a relative of potatoes and aubergines; like potatoes, it originated in Central and South America, and was imported into Europe as early as 1500, by the first Spanish conquistadors; the common Italian name, pomo d'oro, would derive from the fact that the first plants imported into Europe had yellow fruits.

The tomatoes, botanical name Solanum lycopersicum, are the fruits of medium-sized annual plants, generally creeping, which have a rapid development, so much so that they can grow, in a couple of months, up to two meters in length. The stems are thin, flexible, very branched; they carry large jagged leaves, covered with a thin hair. The foliage of the solanum lycopersicum may cause slight skin irritation in predisposed individuals.


The shapes and colors

The berries of the tomato, in the botanical species, are golden yellow in color, sometimes orange; It has only been for a couple of centuries that red fruit cultivars have prevailed over all others, even generating the belief that tomatoes only exist in bright red color. The cultivation of this plant has been taking place for millennia in Central and South America, for a couple of centuries in Europe and Asia; the great diffusion of tomatoes in the kitchens of most of the world has led over time to the development of numerous hybrids and cultivars; in fact there are white, yellow, pink, orange, purple and even red tomatoes. In addition to the many colors, there are tomatoes of many shapes: elongated, similar to small bottles of sauce, such as the famous San Marzano; small in size such as Red Cherry; round and large in size, up to one kg per fruit, like beafsteaks, and then ribbed, heart-shaped, crushed.

In addition to many forms for fruits, there are many forms for cultivar plants; in general, creeping varieties are grown in family gardens, with development similar to that of a climber; to allow the plants to grow in less space and to prevent the fruits from touching the ground, ruining them, in the family gardens the tomatoes are provided with guardians, to which to assure the plants, to make them grow erect. Among the vegetable tomatoes there are climbing species, with continuous height development throughout the growing season, and specific species, that is, which tend to develop for a defined height, and then stop.

Plants grown in the open field by the food industry, on the other hand, are generally dwarf or shrubby varieties, which produce small low bushes; in this way it is easier to take care of plants and fruits with the aid of machinery.

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