Mexican X Part IV: You Say “Tomato,” I Say You’re Missing a Syllable, Bro!

David Bowles
5 min readOct 1, 2018

Tomatoes are freaking everywhere in global cuisine. It’s almost impossible to imagine life (pizza!) without the fat, red, dimpled spheres.

Weird thing is, we got the name wrong.

Ready to learn why? It’s all about the “x,” of course!

It’s no secret (I hope) that “tomato” comes from Spanish “tomate,” which in turn comes from a Nahuatl word: “tomatl.” This berry of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum was bred by Mesoamerican farmers over millennia till it…

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.