While often referred to as a vegetable, the tomato is actually a fruit and a berry. It comes from the Lycopersicon esculentum plant. The tomato was originally named after the food family to which it belongs, which is the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family of flowering plants.
Even though tomatoes are fruits, they do not possess the sweetness of other fruits. Instead, they have a somewhat bitter taste and a slight, sweet flavor. Tomatoes originally come from South America, including the countries of Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and they were first cultivated in Mexico. There are more than 1000 different varieties of tomatoes.