After much deliberation we’ve decided to classify this week’s offering as a fruit lace necklace and not a vegetable lace necklace, as…well…botanically that’s what it is. More precisely a berry. As is the banana incidentally.
The tomato had been consumed in Mexico by the Aztecs since about 700 AD where it was called the…”tomatl”. That’s if you spoke…Nahuatl. Most probably brought back by one of the expeditions of happy pranksters otherwise known as the conquistadors, the tomato had a rather awkward start in Europe.
To give an idea of the level of the confusion, one of the tomato’s early nicknames was the “poison apple” as some aristocrats and wealthy Europeans tended to slip off their stools after consuming it and then never get up again. Actually the poisoning was likely to have been a far slower affair and been the result of a combination of the tomato’s natural acidity and the lead in the pewter plates (that only wealthier Europeans could afford) which would leach into the tomatos.
Further complicating matters, it was classified in the deadly nightshade family which led to more damaging biblical associations with poison and temptation.
This animosity fueled by rumor, ignorance and superstition eventually dissipated and the final nail in the coffin for it’s rotten reputation came with the rise of the pizza from Naples.