Tomat is scientifically named as Solanum lycopersicum. Internationally, in English, this plant is known as tomato. Meanwhile, this type of cherry tomato variety is scientifically referred to as Solanum lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme and cherry tomato in English are its popular names.
Its popular name, tomato, comes from the Spanish word for tomate. This word can be traced back to the Aztecs with their Nahuatl language which contains the word tomatol which means "swollen fruit" ("Tomato - Definition, Meaning and Synonyms").
Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme
Origin and History of Distribution of Tomatoes
The Andean region is believed to be the center of origin of the species Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme or cherry tomatoes. It is also generally believed that the domestication of this type of tomato first occurred in the Puebla-Veracruz region. This refers to the fact that although the tomato is a plant native to the southwestern coastal region of South America, no archaeological evidence has been found to suggest the use of tomatoes by Andean people in the period before Spanish colonization (Wexler, 2016).
This plant was most likely transported to Mexico from Peru and then spread widely in the 16th century to Asian, Pacific and European countries, as well as to the New World. Another source states that in 1519, Cortez brought tomato seeds to Spain, where they were grown as decoration but not for eating (“Tomato - Definition, Meaning and Synonyms”).
The popularity of cherry tomatoes is said to have started in the early 1900s. This plant has been popular in the United States since at least 1919 with its use as a consumption ingredient only starting in 1967 through recipes written in the article.
Shape Description and Growth
Cherry tomatoes are annual trees that are relatively short in height and can be said to tend to be stunted. This plant can produce lots of round, dark red tomatoes with an average size of 1.5 cm wide. Cherry tomatoes are usually red, but can be found in other colors such as orange, yellow, green, purple, and black. Cherry tomatoes are believed to be an intermediate genetic mixture between wild currant-type tomatoes and domestic garden tomatoes.
For the Micro - Tom cherry tomato type, the plants can grow up to 20 cm tall with dense growth and can produce as many as 25 cherry tomatoes per harvest after 50 to 60 days from sowing the seeds. This type of tomato requires direct sunlight for at least 4-6 hours. Micro - Tom cherry tomatoes themselves are a type of cherry tomato developed by the University of Florida in the United States (National Parks Flora Fauna Web).
Ingredients and Other Benefits of Cherry Tomato for Health
Cherry tomatoes are said to be rich in fiber but low in calories. The fruit is also known to contain many nutrients and vitamins including vitamin C, vitamins A, B, and E and potassium.
The benefits of consuming cherry tomatoes are believed to help maintain heart health and lower blood pressure. Apart from that, the compounds contained in cherry tomatoes are also said to have anticancer properties, especially against breast cancer and pancreatic cancer (C. S. M. Rd, 2021).
Meanwhile, the lycopene in cherry tomatoes can support bone health, especially in women who are at risk of osteoporosis. A study found that women who consumed tomato products experienced lower rates of bone density loss compared to those who consumed fewer cherry tomatoes (WebMD Editorial Contributors, “Health Benefits of Cherry Tomatoes,” 2020).