|The tomato is
more than just a "vegetable fruit." It is a food generating great
economic wealth and major controversy among the countries that farm,
process, exchange, and consume it. It is a crop infused with national
pride and passion for those who grow it, and a symbol of Old World
nostalgia for those who believe they own its history and legacy.
The tomato has embodied a range of values and meanings over time. From
its domestication in Central America, it has traveled repeatedly across
the Atlantic, becoming the main ingredient in a story of aspiration and
growth, agriculture and industry, class and identity, desire for
tradition, and global transition..
Gentilcore explores why the tomato took so long to infiltrate Italian
cooking and its place in both elite and peasant cultures. He traces its
appearance in learned medical and agricultural treatises, travel logs,
family recipe books, kitchen accounts, and Italian art, literature, and
| In this entertaining and
organic history, David Gentilcore's recounts the surprising rise of the
tomato from its New World origins to its Old World status and present
beginnings in Renaissance Europe, the tomato came to dominate Italian
cuisine and the food industry over the course of three centuries.
A History of the Tomato in Italy
by David Gentilcore
Reviewed in The Book Stall