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Tomatoes from Mexico

The tomato is one of the most used vegetables. Its origin is located from Mexico to South America. In Mexico is where the use of the tomato was diversified.


The tomato is a climbing plant with rigid stem and flowers, that produces the tomato fruit. The fruit is slightly acidic.

According to the shape of the tomato, there are five types, from smallest to largest: cherry, saladette, pear type, standard ball, and large ball.


The tomato was domesticated in Mexico about 2,600 years ago. The name tomato comes from the Nahuatl xictli, navel and tomatl, tomato, which means navel tomato.

In Mexico, the red, round tomato is referred to as jitomate.

Food use

Tomatoes are commonly used in the preparation of various dishes due to their slightly acidic flavor. They have nutritional properties such as fiber, vitamin C and potassium. The red color indicates that tomatoes contain beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A.

The main types of tomato that are marketed in Mexico are: bola, cherry, and roma.

fresh tomatoes in macro photography

There are five types of tomatoes, according to shape, from smallest to largest: cherry, saladette, pear type, standard ball, and large ball.

Bola The fruit is shaped in a globular form, hence its name “bola”. The fruit has an intense red color when ripe. The bola tomato has fleshy pulp, with a more acidic flavor than other types of tomato. It is used for the export and production of purees, juices, concentrated sauces, canned etc.

Cherry  The cherry tomato is small. It has a sweeter flavor and a strong red color. This tomato is a source of potassium and vitamins. This type of tomato is popular in salads and as fresh produce.

Roma  The roma tomato is elongated and oval. Its pulp is copious. The roma tomato has a slight sweet taste and is firm. Its production is simpler as it does not need a constant irrigation system and is highly resistant to pests and diseases.


Mexico is the main exporter of fresh tomatoes worldwide. Also, cultivation of tomatoes is one of the most important in Mexico, the fourth in importance for agricultural production.  The tomato production is concentrated in five states: Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Jalisco, and Zacatecas. Tomato production has also expanded to other states of Mexico: Baja California, Puebla, Sonora, Morelos, and Oaxaca.
Sinaloa is the leading state in tomato production and exports to its main buyers that are the United States and Canada.

In Mexico, tomatoes begin ripening in June through August.


The tomato receives the scientific name of Solanum lycopersicum. It belongs to the genus Solanum.


The tomatillo is another member of the tomato family. It is a small hard green tomato fruit, naturally wrapped in a papery husk that must be removed before eating. It has a tart flavor. The season of tomatillos begins in May and ends in November.


Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural (SADER)