While the round fruit that we know and love in our salads is called a tomato today, in the past it was known by a different name: the love apple.
Opinions vary on how this moniker came to exist. We do know to thank the Aztecs for the tomato, both for the English name (which is derived from the Aztec word ‘tomatl’) and the food itself. One of the first historical references to tomatoes mentions the Aztecs serving them as a side dish.
In 1544, Italian herbalist Pietro Andrae Matthioli made the first reference to the tomato's presence in Europe when he wrote about ‘pomi d'oro’ (apples of gold); the first tomatoes in Europe may have been yellow. Matthioli classified them botanically with the mandrake plant, which could be poisonous, much like nightshade and belladonna. Despite its potential toxicity, mandrake was used in love potions, so the tomato, while feared by some as a poison, may have been revered by others as an aphrodisiac, or “love apple”.
While it's possible that tomatoes were called love apples because of their aphrodisiacal qualities, there’s one more theory to consider. Moors traveling back and forth from Spain, took tomatoes home to Morocco, where they called it ‘pomi dei mori’ (apple of the Moors). At some point after this, the French began referring to the tomato as ‘pomme d'amour’ (apple of love). Whether the name came from its relation to mandrake or was simply a transliteration, we may never know.
Regardless of the name, most people love a good tomato.
From Mr. Food
This recipe is a copycat version of a popular candy bar that's full of crispy, peanut buttery goodness. Our Whatdoyoucallem Bars deliver that same combination of ooey-gooey, chocolate, and peanut butter yumminess that you love, in a homemade form!
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, divided
- 1 (10-ounce) package marshmallows
- 6 cups peanut butter crunch cereal
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable shortening