History. Chapter 2. From Secession War to Outer Space


Although the first official tomato soup recipe in the United States was made by the American cook Maria Parloa (1843-1910), it was the fruiterer Joseph Campbell who early after gave popularity to the Campbell’s condensed tomato soup. The great opportunity for the tomato in USA was during the Secession War or American Civil War (1861-1865), where the majority of the soldiers were young people from the countryside who had not eaten that fruit and ate it in tin. The tomato plant was usual in the garden as an ornamental and the food production decreased because of the war. After the war, the soldiers took the plant to their homes and became popular in soaps, salads and sauces.

In 1883 The Congress of the United States, in a protectionist will, make a law taxing ten per cent all importations related to vegetables, and among them the tomato. The importer John Nix, who defended that the tomato was a fruit, started legal actions what ended in a long process. The Supreme Court dictated that the tomato was a vegetable so this way the could charge the tax to this now vegetable.

The tomato is cultivated in the whole world, through the year and with fruits of different sizes, forms and colours. The main producers countries are China and The United States.

It was the first plant travelling to outer space. Twelve million and a half seed were sent, and went into orbit the 7th of April 1984. The changes experimented by the cosmic radiation exposure and weightlessness were studied. Gravity produced by acceleration and deceleration produced by the launch and landing of ships were also investigated. This seed was chosen because the lightweight, small size and easy care and cultivation by the scientists.

Nowadays the tomato is the most important economic vegetable product, with more than 130 million of tones produced every year in the whole world. Its applications are difficult to compare, as an ingredient for foods, or for industry.  Xitomatl for Incas, pomodoro for Italians, pumu d’amuri in Sicily, love apple in England, pommes d’amour in France, the tomato is still the main character of sauces with a long live ahead.