Episode 89: Tomatoes

Monday, April 16, 2018
Thanks to listener Troy's request, we are talking about tomatoes today, because he wanted to learn about the history of tomatoes specifically. We go over what the tomato is and its long sordid history and the bad rap it's had over the years. We then talk about the best recipe (in our opinion) with tomatoes (divine!). We then help a Food Fight listener with a snarky social media comment on her food choices.

Let's taco' bout it!

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Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family. If they are red tomatoes, there is lycopene.
  • Tomatoes are, botanically-speaking, a fruit, but is ruled by the Supreme Court as a vegetable, culinary-speaking. If you haven't heard our episodes on Condiments, you need to listen to it here!
  • According to Harold McGee, chefs were putting in fresh tomato leaves into sauces to freshen it up.
  • Originally, the tomato has had a bad reputation due to the high acidity of tomatoes leaching out lead from pewter plates and the lead eventually poisoned these aristocrats.
  • The Tomato in America by Andrew F. Smith, talks about a few reasons that helped keep up this bad reputation: 1) Peitro Andrae Matthioli called it a nightshade (poisonous) and a mandrake (considered a temptation), 2) in 1597, Mr. John Gerard opined about the tomato (stink and rank), and 3) in the 1800s, the green tomato worm was quite frightening and thought to be poisonous.

Slow roasted tomatoes are the best!

Run Time: 48 minutes

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