The tomato was once referred to as the Love Apple, Moor’s Apple and a Wolf Peach. The name wolf peach comes from the long-held belief that the tomato was poisonous. One 17th Century cookbook declared, while it was safe to eat a cooked tomato it was “not advisable”. However eating a raw tomato would cause instantaneous death. Although untrue, this lethal accusation lingered until the early 1800’s.
The controversy over the toxic tomato was only the beginning of the tomato debate. An additional debate was most likely the topic of many garden conversations…was the tomato a vegetable or a fruit. The issue seemed to cause such division that the debate was taken before the United States Supreme Court. In 1887 the issue was settled when the powers to be decided to split the difference. The Court ruled that although “botanically speaking tomatoes are the fruit of a vine” they were vegetables “in the common language of the people.”
Here at Suncreek Garden there really isn’t much of a debate. We grow heirloom tomatoes. We enjoy them cooked as well as raw and thus far no one has fallen ill or even worse. Also, we don’t prefer the tomato fruit over the tomato vegetable or vice versa…we just prefer tomatoes!
*On a side note…The tomato serves as both the official state vegetable and the official state fruit of Arkansas, in honor of the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato, sometimes known as “Bradley Pink.”
What say you about the tomato debate?
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