I can't imagine life without the tomato, but this beloved ingredient of fine sauces, salads
and salsas has had it troubles over the centuries. First brought back from the New World
by the Spanish, it was considered to be poisonous as well as being crowned the real
forbidden fruit from the garden of eden, not the apple. Like Eve herself, the tomato was
suppose to be tempting and seductive, but worse yet, the tomato is a hermaphrodite, a
perfect plant containing all it needs to self pollinate, something the church would never
The tomato is actually a berry, thats right, a member of the nightshade family originally
called xitomati by the Aztecs and later on it was called a tomati when it reached the
Yucatan where it was discovered by the Spanish and ended up being sent to Europe
along with the potato and eggplant.
Naples was a still a Spanish possession in the 16th century and when they introduced the
tomato to Italy, they called it pomodoro or golden apple referring most likely to the earliest
specimens that were yellow or bright orange.
Years later the red variety of tomatoes were introduced to Italy by some clergy claiming
that it was from the original Garden of Eden's Tree of Eternal Life (not that other tree
that caused them all their troubles), and if you ate enough of them, you would be granted
immortality, but even with the promise of eternal life the tomato still remained just an
ornamental fruit and a topic of speculation.
After a long battle and it's acceptance by the church, tomatoes made it into the main
stream of the worlds culinary dictionary. From catsup to Bloody Marys, from salsa to
pizza, life just would not be the same without this poisonous fruit.
|The Tomato: Passion not Poison