A chequered tomato history

Why the tomato was feared in Europe for more than 200 years is an excellent blog on the history of the humble tomato. It all began with the ‘poison apple’, so named because aristocrats that consumed them became sick and died. In fact, the cause of death was lead poisoning from eating tomatoes served on pewter plates, which were high in lead content. Strongly acidic, the tomato leached lead from the plates.

Published in the Smithsonian magazine, the blogger, K. Annabelle Smith, traces the many myths and untruths surrounding the tomato and writes that its reputation wasn’t restored until the invention of the pizza in Naples around 1880.

Smithsonian magazine is a monthly magazine created for modern, well-rounded individuals with diverse interests. It chronicles the arts, history, sciences and popular culture of the times. Each subscription includes a complimentary membership to the Smithsonian Institution.

The one question the blogger doesn’t answer is: how does a fruit that “originated in Mesoamerica” get mentioned in the Old Testament?

K. Annabelle Smith’s latest blog highlights America’s Top 10 Biggest Roadside Foods in America, an insight into the bizarre and unique roadside attractions along the American superhighway system. Move over Big Banana and make way for the strawberry, peach, and a field full of giant corn. Who said Australia has the biggest and whackyist!

Steven Carruthers 

12 September 2013