Bangul Tomato is also called Cherry Tomato, Mini Tomato, and Baby Tomato. People often eat it in a tomato juice or a tomato sauce. Tomato is a plant belonging to Solanaceae, which is cultivated as a perennial plant in the tropics and as a yearly plant in the temperate zone.
Its name tells us that it was brought from a foreign country, and its origin is said to be a highland in the southern part of South America, probably Mexico. It is assumed that it was brought in Korea in 1614, while Bangul Tomato began to be cultivated in Korea starting 1960s. Tomato was introduced into Italy in the early 16th century, and spread all over Europe into England in the early 17th century, where it was cultivated as a flowering plant. The Italians began to cultivate it for the first time in the world in 18th century.
Tomato is vegetable, not fruit. Once in the U.S. a dispute on whether tomatoes are fruit or vegetable took place. According to the then customs law in the U.S. people should pay a high tax when they import vegetables. Thus traders strongly protested against it when customs officers in the New York port concluded that tomatoes were vegetable.
On that, the Supreme Court decided that tomatoes are fruit from a botanical view, but since they are used as part of meals, not as desserts, they are vegetable. So among some people they are now called Gwacharyu with a first word borrowed from the two names of Gwail (fruit) and Chaeso (vegetable) each.
Regarding Bangul Tomato, the nature that a flower blossoms whenever 3 leaves produce after its first blossom does is similar to common ones. Tomato bears a number of small fruits every bundle, usually 20 to 100. Since too many fruit in a bundle cause a small one and a low quality, farmers crop 30 to 40 fruit every bundle. You can get 20 to 40 bundles from every plant.
Bangul Tomatoes grow quite well even in the condition of a relatively dry weather and little fertilizer since they tend to be deep-rooted into the earth with their roots spreading widely. On the other hand, if the percentage of humidity is high in the air, they get easily diseases such as botrytis cinerea or epidemic.
Since tomatoes consist of 90 % of water with their fruits 95 %, they need much water until the harvest. The humidity fit to cultivate them is 65 to 85 %, but they can barely grow under below 60 %.
The rich soil of Jeongan and a good weather condition enables farmers to produce the best quality of tomatoes just with a small toil.
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