The wild species of tomato is believed to have originated in the Andes, in the northern and central regions of South America, spreading to Central and North America along with corn during human immigration over 2000 years ago. It arrived in Europe around 1523, but was considered poisonous because of its strong smell, but because of its white, red and yellow fruits, it was planted for ornamental purposes. However, they were always marked “dangerous for use”.
In Europe, the first country to use tomatoes in food was Italy, which considered the new product to be an aphrodisiac. The use of tomatoes in North America is remembered after Independence, but they were regularly eaten by Italian immigrants in New England and French immigrants in New Orleans, who were already making ketchup in 1779. Thomas Jefferson grew tomatoes in his garden in 1781 and they were planted in Philadelphia 8 years later.