In the late 1700’s Europeans were growing tomatoes as ornamental fruits rather than consumables. Valued for their beauty, they were feared to be poisonous.
Nicknamed the “poison apple”, the high acid content of the tomato extracted lead from the plates used among the aristocracy and caused lead poisoning. The fruit also came to be classified as part of the deadly nightshade family, a classification that did nothing to help its reputation. Over time, the tomato lost its deadly reputation and became part of European cuisine.
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