Tomatoes are native to South America and were domesticated in Mesoamerica. The plants belong to the Solanaceae
family and the most common species in Mexico are the standard bola
) and the guajillo
or Saladet tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. Peryforme
Mexican Spanish word jitomate
is only applied to tomatoes in the nation’s center; it is known as tomate
in the rest of Mexico, as well as in other Spanish-speaking nations.
common tomato is the fruit of an herbaceous plant, found wild and domesticated, which grows well in almost all climates and terrains. They are climbers with stiff stems and yellow hermaphrodite flowers, globular fruits with a round but flattened form that are small when wild, and larger in cultivated varieties. They grow green and gradually change to yellow tones during their development, turning red when ripe; they are pithy and juicy and evince a slightly acidic though also somewhat sweet taste, and contain abundant flat, yellow, edible seeds.
common tomato is produced and consumed worldwide, both fresh or incorporated into a wide array of sauces, purees, juices, and tomato concentrates; tomatoes can also be dehydrated or canned.
tomato is an elongated, somewhat oval fruit that resembles a guaje
gourd, leading it to be called a guajillo
in some parts of Mexico; the saladet is smaller than the common tomato but features the same characteristics.
is Mexico’s largest tomato producer in the North Pacific Region; tomatoes are produced to a lesser extent in the Central Pacific (Jalisco and Nayarit) and in the Central Highlands (Morelos, Tlaxcala and Mexico City).
tomato’s harvest time changes according to climate and variety; production peaks and harvests reach their zenith from February to April and from October to December.
tomatoes are low in calories; most of their weight is water, in addition to simple sugars and organic acids that lend tomatoes their characteristically sour taste; they are an important source of potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B5 and C.
Mexico’s Gulf region and in other zones, these fruits are known as red tomatoes, in contrast to unpeeled green tomatoes or tomatillos
, as the latter species is known. These are eaten fresh, in salads; as a garnish or ingredient for cebiches and fish- and seafood-based cocktails; other presentations call for cold tomatoes. They can be hollowed out and filled or stuffed. Boiled or roasted, ground and flattened, they become the base for countless sauces, broths, soups, stews, various moles and rice and pasta seasonings. They are also used in jam, as flavor bases and in concentrate production, or otherwise processed to be consumed as fresh juice.
The cherry tomato
) is a small tomato variety, named for its red color and resemblance to cherries (measuring 1-3 inches and weighing between 10 and 15 grams). The flavor is less acidic and sweeter than larger tomatoes.
are consumed year round, and they represent an important production alternative since they can be grown both in greenhouses and using traditional cultivation techniques.