Tomatoes… aka “wolf peaches” (apparently)

Tomatoes… aka “wolf peaches” (apparently)

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You might know already that our lovable toms originated in Peru, crossing the Atlantic to Spain with the conquistadors in the 16th century, and arriving in northern Europe in the 1800’s. What you may not know however, is that their Aztec name means “plump thing with a navel”, and their scientific name is Lycopersicon lycopersicum, meaning “wolf peach”!

A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in fact a fruit. The skin, flesh and seeds can all be eaten, but the green leaves are toxic, so should always be discarded. You can save the seeds from hybrid tomatoes, but you won’t grow tomatoes exactly like the ones you started with. To get identical tomatoes, grow seeds from heirlooms.