A Brief History of the Tomato in Italy

It can be hard to imagine Italian food without tomatoes, but Italy went through centuries of cooking before the iconic red fruit was introduced to the country. So, how did tomatoes become such an important part of the menu at our Bothell Italian restaurant?

Before tomatoes were introduced to Italy, most Italian dishes used olive oil and cheeses where you might expect them to use tomato sauce. It was only when the tomato was brought over from South America that anyone in the country ever laid eyes upon the fruit. The first identified account of tomatoes being used in Italy comes from 1548. Around this time, the Italians knew the fruit as “pomidoro”, or “golden fruits”, due to the fact that the first of their tomatoes were small and yellow.

Even after the arrival of the tomato, it would take a long time before Italian food would take on the appearance we know today. Many popular dishes, including tomato sauce, are still fairly recent innovations from as recently as the late nineteenth century. Come and enjoy this delicious and nutritious fruit at Amaro Bistro tonight!