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Native American

 Herbs  & Plants

Of The Southwest


Native American Indian Tomatoes

The tomato, along with the potato, was another early misunderstood and unappreciated Indian gift. Although the “tomati” was grown by the Indians of Mexico from prehistoric times onward, it was regarded by white man as poisonous, probably because of its membership in the Nightshade family, some of which truly are poisonous. The tomato was grown early by white men on this continent as an ornamental is their gardens, and while they referred to its luscious looking fruit as the “love apple”, they didn’t eat it.

It took the more adventuresome Italians to try the tomato, enjoy it, and make it a mainstay of Southern Italian pasta sauce. Before the Indian gifts of tomatoes and peppers from the New World, Italian food was bland and boring. Use of the tomato spread throughout Europe, and finally returned to its native land, where it became popular for food in the American Northeast by the mid 1800’s. Today, of course, we consume tons of tomato sauce, salsa, ketchup, fried green tomatoes and sliced tomatoes in salads and sandwiches. It is a rare North American garden that does not contain at least one summer tomato plant.

Native American Tomato

RECIPE? RECIPE? You want a recipe? Hmmm- why not just slice 'em an eat 'em?"