Tomato, Little Red Riding Hood (Solanum lycopersicum)
The tomato, one of the most widespread and well-known foods in the world, originated in the Andean region, which stretches from southern Colombia to northern Chile. The tomato was already being used for food purposes in Mexico at least 2600 years ago. Its name has its origins in the native Náhuatl language, which is still spoken today.
The tomato is a herbaceous annual plant that is hairy and fragrant, and belongs to the Solanaceae family, which requires high light intensity for growth. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, where it was initially considered an ornamental plant. In Britain and its colonies, it was even thought to be poisonous for a time. Soon after, however, its enormous potential as a food was recognized, so that over time it has been cultivated almost everywhere around the world. There are now countless cultivars with a wide variety of flavors, sizes and shapes, including Little Red Riding Hood, which has a growing height of up to 55 centimeters and bears round, red fruits of the light-fruit type.