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The word "tomato" may refer to the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) or the edible, typically red, fruit that it bears. Having originated in 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.

The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes (as well as by the United States Supreme Court, see Nix v. Hedden), which has caused some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.

The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.

Read more about Tomato:  Cultivation, Consumption, Botanical Description, Botanical Classification, Genome Sequencing, Breeding, Fruit or Vegetable?, Names, Tomato Records, Cultural Impact

Famous quotes containing the word tomato:

    Everything was blamed on Castro. Mudslides in California. The fact that you can’t buy a decent tomato anymore. Was there an exceptionally high pollen count in Massapequa, Long Island, one day? It was Castro, exporting sneezes.
    Calvin Trillin (b. 1935)

    Well, I couldn’t go to bed with you like I do with her, and grab a tomato sandwich and run out and catch the 72 bus.
    Margaret Forster, British screenwriter, Peter Nichols, and Silvio Narizzano. Jos (Alan Bates)

    Taking a good mouthful, I felt as though I had taken liquid fire; the tomato was chile colorado, or red pepper, of the purest kind. It nearly killed me, and I saw Gómez’ eyes twinkle for he saw that his share of supper was increased.
    —For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)