The tomato as it is known today has changed a lot since it was first discovered by humans. Native to South America, the tomato was originally thought to be poisonous. Today tomatoes are found all over the globe, used frequently in the cuisine of many different cultures.
In 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes found the Aztec civilization in South America, and discovered tomatoes being grown in the emperor’s garden (his name was Montezuma). He returned to Europe with seeds where the tomato was first grown as a plant to be looked at. Europeans first guessed that the plant was poisonous. The tomato is a member of the lethal nightshade family of plants, and its leaves are harmful for the nervous system.