Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Bounteous Crop

Homegrown tomatoes are so delicious!  Nothing says summer like the burst of flavor you get from a sun-warmed, garden-ripened pomme d'amour.

Oh!  I must digress!  It's a teachable moment!  

Did you know tomatoes have been known as love apples?  There's a couple of theories of why this might be.  In the 16th century, tomatoes seeds were from North Africa to Italy and were given the name pome dei Mori, or "apples of the Moors."  It was transliterated to France to pomme d'amour, or "love apple. 

A more bloody and imaginative theory is this:  Tomatoes (tomatl)  first came from the Aztecs who practiced cannibalism and served the red juicy fruit (or vegetable whichever you prefer) alongside the main course of human flesh.  Eventually the seeds made their way to Europe where it was assumed the tomato was poisonous and related to the mandrake or deadly nightshade (belladonna) plants. An Italian herbalist classified tomatoes with the mandrake family.  But did you know that belladonna is also considered an aphrodisiac as well as a poison?  Rachel and Leah (of Genesis, you know, the Bible) concocted a love potion with mandrake roots and the Hebrew word for mandrake is dudaim which can be translated as love apples or love plants. 

And at some point, one botanist classified it differently so that it's name can be translated to "edible wolf's peach."  Now that doesn't sound too appetizing!  If you are really into reading about the history of the tomato, delve into the preview of the book The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture and Cookery by Andrew Smith.  You can read a preview on Google Books.

I've researched all that to tell you this:  The two pictures above are the sole evidence of my tomato crop this year.  It is October and there are finally about ten fruits on the vines.  

I guess Molly's salsa making schemes are out the window!

p. s.  Have you discovered Google Books?  Lots of free reading and reference material that is not readily available--The historical and genealogical information on them that can be found is phenomenal!


Keetha Broyles said...

Biologically a tomato is a fruit. A fruit is any ripened ovary containing the seed(s). Many of the "veggies" we eat are actually fruit - if it has or is a seed it's a fruit.

Andi said...

I got some cherry tomatoes through the summer. And I got one whole tomato off of my heirloom plants. And I got absolutely no peppers. No not one.

Freckled Hen said...

I have tried to like tomatoes my whole life. I love to grow them and cook with them but just can't eat them fresh. Thanks for the google books info- I'll check it out. Get it? It's librarian talk just for you.

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