Tomatoes are evil. I call them the “Devil’s Fruit.” It goes all the way back to the beginning. The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden? A tomato. Original sin itself, contained in a spherical (sorta) red package. Then there was some confabulation with the tomato vine and a snake, and the snake got the blame, but it was the tomato plant that did it! You can cook the evil out of a tomato. High heat works like an exorcism. I love me some ketchup. Or catsup. However you want to spell it, it’s good. As in, it tastes good and it is good, morally speaking. Pizza sauce is the same. Salsa hasn’t been cooked, but the spices they add to it tend to repel the evil spirits of the tomatoes and make it safe to ingest. Raw tomatoes, though? Evil. Pure evil.
Did you know that consuming raw tomatoes, or lycopersicon—“wolf peaches”—can turn you into a werewolf? It’s true. (Or maybe you have to smear tomato juice all over your skin. Something like that.) Oh, there are some who maintain that the tomato is just a victim of bad press, that its arrival in Europe coincided with the witchcraft panic and thus its reputation was besmirched by mass hysteria. But according to guys like witchhunter extraordinaire Henry Boguet and Andres Laguna, personal physician to some Renaissance-era Pope, tomatoes were a primary ingredient in the salve witches used to grant them supernatural powers, such as flight, and sorcerers used to transform themselves into werewolves. Okay, actually the ingredients were mandrake, henbane, and nightshade—but tomatoes are closely related to all three of these! Make sure and cook all your tomatoes, friends! Better safe than sorry!