Who Grew the First Tomatoes?
Who Grew the First Tomatoes? Tomatoes were first grown by the Indians of Central America where they were called tomatl, a name given to them in Nahuatl. The Spanish conquistadors took the tomato back to Europe, where it was quickly adopted by the Italians and French. A superstition soon arose that the tomato stimulated love. To this day, tomatoes are called “love apples” by many.
Early colonists brought the seeds to Virginia and grew tomatoes for decoration. Tomatoes were not a popular food in the United States until well into the 19th century, partly because of the belief that they were poisonous.
Legend has it that the first tomato to be eaten in the United States was consumed in a public demonstration by John Gibbon, at Salem, Massachusetts on September 26th 1830. Despite warnings that its poison would turn his blood to acid he did not fall to the ground, frothing at the mouth, or get appendicitis, as had been predicted.