Burt Wolf: What We Eat

Time to Play Ketchup: The Story of the Tomato

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When he marched into Mexico in 1519, Hernando Cortez became the first European to see a tomato. He sent some to the Spanish settlements in the Caribbean and from there back to Europe. In this program we find out why the tomato was readily accepted in Italy and Southern Europe but not in the north. We discover the story of the tomato pill that claimed to cure all illnesses, the true origin of ketchup and how it became our national condiment, why the Supreme Court changed the tomato from a fruit to a vegetable, the strange history of tomato juice, and why we throw tomatoes at people who get on our nerves.

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