Listen to Owen Bennett-Jones discuss the future of opinion polls with Mark Pack

Clarissa Hyman

Dec 24, 2021

Tomato

A Global History

Reaktion Books 2019

In the history of food, the tomato is a relative newcomer but it would now be impossible to imagine the food cultures of many nations without them. The journey taken by the tomato from its ancestral home in the southern Americas to Europe and back is a riveting story full of discovery, innovation, drama and dispute. Today it is at the forefront of scientific advances and heritage conservation, but the tomato has faced challenges every step of the way into our gardens and kitchens including the eternal question: is it a fruit or a vegetable?

In Tomato: A Global History Clarissa Hyman charts the eventful history of this ubiquitous everyday item that is often taken for granted. Hyman discusses tomato soup and ketchup, heritage tomatoes, tomato varieties, breeding and genetics, nutrition, tomatoes in Italy, tomatoes in art, and tomatoes for the future. Featuring delicious modern and historical recipes, such as the infamous ‘man-winning tomato salad’, this is a juicy and informative history of one of our most beloved foods.

Tomato is part of the Edible Series published by Reaktion Books. It is a revolutionary series of books on food and drink which explores the rich history of man’s consumption. Each book provides an outline for one type of food or drink, revealing its history and culture on a global scale. 50 striking illustrations, with approximately 25 in colour, accompany these engaging and accessible texts, and offer intriguing new insights into their subject. Key recipes as well as reference material accompany each title. Also available through The University of Chicago Press.

See our other episodes on Edible Series:

Avocado by Jeff Miller
Coffee by Jonathan Morris
Vanilla by Rosa Abreu-Runkel
Mustard by Demet Güzey
Saffron by Ramin Ganeshram

    More episodes from this series to come…

    Clarissa Hyman is a food and travel writer who contributes to a wide range of publications. Her previous books include The Jewish Kitchen (2003), Cucina Siciliana (2004), The Spanish Kitchen (2006), and Oranges: A Global History (2013). She also writes regularly for Food and Travel Magazine. Based in Manchester, she is a former vice-president of the UK Guild of Food Writers, and has twice won the Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year Award. 


    Amir Sayadabdi is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

    Listen to more episodes on:

    Your Host

    Amir Sayadabdi

    Amir Sayadabdi is Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

    Learn More

    Also Hosted By Amir Sayadabdi