Of plants, tomatoes seemed the most human - eager and fragile and prone to rot.
Originally cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 A.D., the tomato is native to the Americas. Europeans were first made aware of the tomato when explorers brought back seed from Mexico and Central America in the 16th century. Tomatoes quickly became popular in the Mediterranean countries, but received resistance as they spread north. The British in particular considered the fruit to be beautiful but poisonous. This fear was shared in the American colonies and it was years before the tomato gained widespread acceptance.