Tomatoes- A History
Ever wonder why red tomatoes seem to be the most popular? I admit I spend so much time reading about tomatoes and with my psychology degree I have noticed a few things about names and trends that finally made me answer that particular question. Why is the red tomato the most popular? Is it because it has the most delectable flavor? Or is it a fashion trend that came with the commercialization of the America diet? It all started around 400 years ago. Explorers from Europe "discovered" a beautiful "golden apple." They brought them back to Europe (particularly Italy) where it became an instant hit, (other cultures "discovered" other colors and named them "love apples" believing them to be toxic.) It was about 10 years after the first "gold" orange tomato that red tomatoes hit the scene. Now these "golden" tomatoes made a huge hit in Italian cultures and the people they shared seed with. Imagine the impact if we were discovering tomatoes for the first time, so many new recipes. It would be called a super-food like all the other "new" fruits we get. Well imagine a shiny red tomato hitting the scene while this golden one is still traveling around and hot. It was still enjoyed but became old news. (News didn't travel fast like today, no seed companies on the internet, so some people were still getting the old one by the time the explorers were coming back with the new one.)
"Have you tried the new tomato?" I imagine their translation to be.
"Of course, we grew beautiful Golden Apples this year" They excitedly reply back.
"No, no. There is a new red one now They are calling it a tomate." The In-The-Know person brags.
Now, I adore orange tomatoes, in fact, I like all of the colors, red, white, green, yellow, blue, purple, brown, pink and black. Did I miss one, let's call those interesting ones "striped.' But you know how it is. A trend happens and suddenly that cherishly named "golden apple" becomes a second rate citizen, that's "old news." What if it happened to be a red tomato discovered first and a white one discovered second. White fruit was fairly rare and if you give it a bit of coverage some varieties stay parchment white with no yellow hue. People do love blanching cauliflower. We will never know for sure, as different cultures do treasure different things. But I smell and old trend at hand.