Thursday, October 26, 2006


The tomato plant was not grown in England until the 1590s, according to Smith. One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon. Gerard's Herbal, published in 1597 and largely plagiarized from continental sources, is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew that the tomato was eaten in both Spain and Italy. Nonetheless, he believed that it was poisonous (tomato leaves and stems contain poisonous glycoalkaloids, but the fruit is safe). Gerard's views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North American colonies. By the mid-1700s, however, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain; and before the end of that century, the Encyclopædia Britannica stated that the tomato was "in daily use" in soups, broths, and as a garnish. Tomatoes were originally known as "Love Apples", possibly based on a mistranslation of the Italian name pomo d'oro (golden apple) as pomo d'amore.

I like tomatoes.

1 comment:

  1. I like and also dislike tomatoes. I definitely do not eat raw tomatoes. But, sun-dried, tomatoe sauce, in pasta sauces, I eat all those. When there are cooked chunks of it in a dish, I don't eat it, but I don't mind the flavour that it imparts on the dish.