Where was the tomato pin cushion invented?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    How Tomato Pin Cushion came to be:

    People used to believe that placing a ripe tomato on the mantel when first entering a new home guaranteed future prosperity. Since tomatoes were not available year-round until recently, families moving into new homes often substituted round balls of red fabric stuffed with sawdust or sand. These balls were also used as pincushions, which explains--if you ever wondered--why your grandmother's pincushion looked like a tomato.

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    Extra tid bit : Tomato History

    Along with corn and potatoes, the Western Hemisphere gave the world the tomato. The Aztecs cultivated and enjoyed tomatoes for at least a millennium before European explorers came. The conquistadors returned to Europe with tomato seeds. The red globes quickly become an important part of the cuisine of Spain, Portugal, and Italy. When other European peoples began to use the tomato, they gave it nicknames curiously fitting to their own culture. Th French called the tomato a "love apple." The Germans noted the apple-like shape and color and called it "the apple of paradise."

    Only the British refused to eat this new vegetable. They believed it to be poisonous. A possible reason for the error may be that the tomato vine resembles and is botanically related to the deadly nightshade. Whatever the reason, the English colonists who came t America carried with them the firm belief that tomatoes were toxic. What an ironic twist of fate that although the tomato crossed the Atlantic the first time as a terrific new food, it crossed the Atlantic the second time as a poison not to be eaten!

    The American fear of the tomato persisted into the 19th century. In 1781, Thomas Jefferson grew tomatoes in the gardens of Monticello, but not as a food. The plants were merely for decoration! Although Creoles were known to use tomatoes in cooking their spicy gumbos and jambalayas, it wasn't until 1820 that the tomato was proven safe to the satisfaction of the public. On September 26, courageous Colonel Robert G. Johnson stood on the courthouse steps in Salem, New Jersey, and to the horror of onlookers, ate not just one, but a basketful of tomatoes. When he appeared the next morning, not dead and not even sick, the tomato was finally accepted as a wholesome food.

    Fruit or vegetable? According to no less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court, the tomato is a vegetable. In 1883, Congress passed a tariff act assessing fees on imported vegetables. Fruits were allowed to enter the country duty-free. The director of customs in New York City collected a tariff on incoming tomatoes, declaring them to be vegetables. The importers claimed they were fruits and filed a lawsuit. When the case finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the unanimous decision was:

    Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans and peas. But in the common language of the people . . . all these are vegetables.

    People used to believe that placing a ripe tomato on the mantel when first entering a new home guaranteed future prosperity. Since tomatoes were not available year-round until recently, families moving into new homes often substituted round balls of red fabric stuffed with sawdust or sand. These balls were also used as pincushions, which explains--if you ever wondered--why your grandmother's pincushion looked like a tomato.

    Source: Vegetable Desserts, Beyond Carrot Cake & Pumpkin Pie, ©1998 by Elisabeth Schafer and Jeannette L. Miller, RD.

    Other Tomato Lore

    & Claims (We Won't Vouch For The Truth of Any of These)

    To cure burning feet, place slices of tomato on your feet, wrap, and elevate for 15 minutes.

    Treat sunburn with tomatoes soaked in buttermilk. Apply to your skin.

    Draw infection from a boil with a warmed slice of tomato.

    Problems with skunk odor? Soak in a bath of tomato juice.

    Remove garlic and onion odors from your hands with a slice of fresh tomato.

    Use tomato juice as a cure for alcohol hangover.

    To remove a splinter, sprinkle salt on the area, cover with a small slice of tomato, and hold in place overnight with plastic wrap. In the morning, the splinter will pop out.

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  • Mollie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Saltines go better with soups and stews than Wheat Thins! But I'd rather eat them with chili than tomato soup

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ouch, good question. I think it has been around for ages in one form or another. Just the pin cushin...not just a tomato one.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    i choose this one, some of my co-workers recommend this site to me.

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