This South American fruit has in recent years been developed in size and quality of fruit to an extent that can never be equalled with the tree fruits. Bailey says: "There is every reason to believe that the tomato originally had a two-celled fruit, but in the course of amelioration it has multiplied the locules or cells; it has also modified the foliage and stature of the plant."
During the past fifty years the large-fruited varieties have been developed by crossing, selection, and culture, and it has become a commercial fruit in canned form that reaches about every part of Christendom. Over a large part of west Europe it is grown under glass, but in climates where the dent corns ripen it matures in the open air. A large part of the immense output of canned tomatoes is put up by canneries in the prairie States, and of late in the Southern States and western New York. In tropical climates it is a perennial, and we have seen ifc in Cuba with stem six inches in diameter, from which fruit was picked from the roof of two-story buildings. In west Europe, where quite acid fruits are prized, it is used in ripe state by many for eating and preferred to apples; but it is mainly used everywhere for stewing or for table use in fully ripened condition with cream and sugar.