December 13 2023, Wednesday

Did you know that the first mention of tomatoes in Europe dates back to 1544? It was the Italian physician and botanist Pietro Andrea Matthioli (1501–1578) who introduced tomatoes to the European scene. In the inaugural edition of his commentary in Italian on Dioscorides’ classical herbal, titled ‘Di Pedacio Dioscoride Anazarbeo libri cinque della historia, et materia medicinale trodotti in lingua volgare Italiana,’ Matthioli made history.
In the chapter dedicated to mandrake (Mandragora), Matthioli wrote about another intriguing species [of eggplant, Solanum melongena L.] that has been brought to Italy in our time, describing it as “flattened like the mele rose [a type of apple] and segmented, green at first and when ripe of a golden color.” This mysterious fruit, as we now know, turned out to be the tomato. Matthioli mentioned it being eaten in a similar manner to eggplant, fried in oil with salt and pepper, resembling the preparation of mushrooms.
Isn’t it fascinating how the journey of the tomato in Europe began over five centuries ago? @{Witchy Bunny} Feel free to share your thoughts on this historical discovery!