- Hide menu
PICTURES OF TOMATOES, STOCK FOOD PHOTOS & FOOD PHOTO ART PRINTS
Stock photos & stock pictures gallery of fresh cherry, plum & beefsteak tomatoes on the vine.
The tomato is a savory, typically red, edible fruit, as well as the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) which bears it. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates.
Many historians believe that the Spanish explorer Cortés may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtítlan, now Mexico City, in 1521. Others believe Christopher Columbus, a Genoese working for the Spanish monarchy, was the first European to take back the tomato, as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist who named it pomo d’oro, or “golden apple”.
Aztecs and other peoples in the region used the fruit in their cooking; it was cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas by 500 BC. It is thought that the Pueblo people believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. The large, lumpy tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.
After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain. The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.:17 However, in certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century
There are many (around 7500) tomato varieties grown for various purposes. Heirloom tomatoes are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among home gardeners and organic producers, since they tend to produce more interesting and flavorful crops at the cost of disease resistance and productivity.
Tomato varieties are roughly divided into several categories, based mostly on shape and size.
Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other organs. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic treasure trove of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants.
Buy all the stock photos in this gallery on line as Royalty Free or Rights managed stock photo. The stock pictures & stock images are all high resolution digital stock photos made award winning professional photographer Paul Williams.
Photo Art prints are also available to buy on line in large to small print formats for framing as art works for home, restaurant, pubs, office art , or commercial art.
OTHER GALLERIES IN THIS SERIES FOOD PICTURES SERIES
BUY TOMATOES FOOD STOCK PHOTOS & PRINTS OF THIS SERIES FROM OUR FOOD PHOTO LIBRARY: