This has to be bullshit, is what I was thinking, seriously, when I saw this. But according to Wikipedia, where I checked my facts, it’s true. The scientific name for the tomato species of plant, is “lycopersicum” which means ‘wolf peach’. Naturally, this is where semantics come in, –the devil is in the details, you know. The thing is, there are various different plants in the lycopersicum family, –which also contains deadly nightshade berries, the original ‘wolf peach’. The wolf peach is a tiny version of a tomato, that can be fatal if ingested in quantities ranging from five to twenty, and a single leaf from the deadly nightshade plant can kill you stone dead.
The berries were also purported to have magic powers; they could be used to summon werewolves, according to German mythology and folklore. They could also be mixed with other herbal ingredients to create a ‘flying ointment’, according to European folklore, which allowed witches to fly anywhere for coven meetings. Scholars, however, have also speculated that the flying ointment was meant to have a psychotropic effect, that sent the user into a reverie of psychic awareness, giving them hallucinations, or what appeared to be the powers of divinity. Throughout medieval Great Britain, tomatoes were believed to be poisonous, and therefore, were not used for cooking until the 17th century, and weren’t a popular cooking ingredient until the 18th century.
Tomatoes were initially imported by the Spanish, when those brave gentlemen crash landed in the Aztec culture, and discovered that they were used for cooking there, where the Aztec word for them was “xitomatl”, which was used by neighboring cultures, similar to these Aztecs, as “tomatl”, –and to the Spanish, the fruit became “tomato”. The Aztecs believed that just watching someone eat tomatl seeds would grant the viewer precognitive powers, visions, and psychic awareness. Sort of gives you a new reverence for vegetable, er, fruits now, doesn’t it?