Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World

A History

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Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 07 Jul 2022

Description

New York Times bestselling author William Alexander takes readers on the surprisingly twisty journey of the beloved tomato in this fascinating and erudite microhistory.

The tomato gets no respect. Never has. Lost in the dustbin of history for centuries, accused of being vile and poisonous, subjected to being picked hard-green and gassed, even used as a projectile, the poor tomato has become the avatar for our disaffection with industrial foods — while becoming the most popular vegetable in America (and, in fact, the world). Each summer, tomato festivals crop up across the country; the Heinz ketchup bottle, instantly recognizable, has earned a spot in the Smithsonian; and now the tomato is redefining the very nature of farming, moving from fields into climate-controlled mega-greenhouses the size of New England villages. 

Supported by meticulous research and told in a lively, accessible voice, Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World seamlessly weaves travel, history, humor, and a little adventure (and misadventure) to follow the tomato's trail through history. A fascinating story complete with heroes, con artists, conquistadors, and—no surprise—the Mafia, this book is a mouth-watering, informative, and entertaining guide to the food that has captured our hearts for generations.
New York Times bestselling author William Alexander takes readers on the surprisingly twisty journey of the beloved tomato in this fascinating and erudite microhistory.

The tomato gets no respect...

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ISBN 9781538753323
PRICE $27.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed this clever, witty yet informative book about my favorite vegetable- oops fruit. The tomato has a rich and sometimes debatable history fraught with exaggerations as well as industrial opportunists. Who really invented ketchup? Or Catsup? Who actually brought tomatoes to the United States.? Have human tastes changed so much since the 18th century when a tomato was thought to be the worse tasting vegetable in the garden? Full of facts presented in an easily understandable and pleasurable prose, this book will be one I will purchase to reread sections and add to my shelf of books on the history of medicines, food and commodities. Great work Mr. Alexander, and I loved the joke about the panda!

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Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World by William Alexander is quite the book. If you would like to know the history of tomatoes this is the book for you. As I read I started to think, as a grower of at least eighteen different tomatoes grown on my farm each year, why the heck is there such a deep obsession with this simple fruit? It's really just a sweet acidity fruit and we made it into the number one grown food item in our home gardens. It's discussed to high heavens, new breeds come out every year, coveted seeds all of it and if we think it's a lot now just ready William's book and one will be shown kind of why so much to do has been given to it.

We make a lot of different things with tomatoes and it was grand to read the origin of the name. The book does go into a lot of detail and sometimes one can get a little cross-eyed with so much info but it's a fascinating read on the history of the tomato and well researched and is quite an achievement.

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World.

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