This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Nothing is more remarkable than the way in which nations will year after year shut themselves up in their prejudices, and keep deaf to evidence that would help them to facts of great value to themselves. It is within the time of the present writer that the tomato was in use only in England by the very select few, and then merely as sauce. All this time, and for three hundred years before, the Germans, to whom we are indebted for its extensive use, were luxuriating in it. The mass of the people of England believed the tomato to be " poison," and many believe so yet. We are reminded of this by the following paragraph: "Several interesting statements are made by ' Science Gossip" (English), showing the centuries since the culture of the tomato was known in gardens. Galen, who lived in the second century, uses the name Lycopersicum, now applied to the tomato, but it is not known to what plant he alludes. But an Italian writer, in 1561, thinks Galen meant the tomato. Dodoens, a Dutch botanist, describes it as growing in his time (in 1583), and as eaten dressed with pepper, vinegar and oil. Gerard mentions it in his ' Herbal' in 1597, and calls it pomum amoris, and describes red and yellow fruited sorts.
Parkinson, in 1656, says it is cultivated only for curiosity, and 'for the amorous aspect or beauty of the fruit.' A century afterwards Miller states it was used in soups. Coming down later, we remember its extensive use on the table, cooked and uncooked, about the year 1825."