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Comment: did a cook think tomatoes were poison and put one in a dish for
george washington and then the cook committed suicide before washington
could "die"?

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Johnny Slick
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato#Early_history

According to the article, people were pretty well aware that tomatoes weren't poisonous by the mid-1500s. Which is, like, 10 years before Washington chopped down a cherry tree and then said he did not have sexual relations with it (I might be getting my Presidential stories mixed up here). I'm going to go out on a limb and say "false" unless the cook was trying to whip up a really, really spicy guacamole and make General Washington die of heartburn.

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Slick:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato#Early_history

According to the article, people were pretty well aware that tomatoes weren't poisonous by the mid-1500s. Which is, like, 10 years before Washington chopped down a cherry tree and then said he did not have sexual relations with it (I might be getting my Presidential stories mixed up here). I'm going to go out on a limb and say "false" unless the cook was trying to whip up a really, really spicy guacamole and make General Washington die of heartburn.

I don't know if the story in the OP is true, but according to your article: "By the mid-18th century they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations, and probably in other parts of the South as well. It is possible that some people continued to think tomatoes were poisonous at this time, and in general they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food. Cultured people like Thomas Jefferson, who ate tomatoes in Paris and sent some seeds home, knew the tomato was edible, but many of the less well-educated did not."
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Lainie
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I'm not completely convinced that uncooked tomatoes are not poisonous. [Razz]

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lazerus the duck
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Potato, the only edible vegetable.

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DemonWolf
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I beleive that tomatoes are related to nightshade and that is why it was once thought that they were poisonous. Also, IIRC, the leaves are poisonous.

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Brad from Georgia
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This stems from a story originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine years and years ago, probably the 1960s or even earlier; in form, it is the confession of the cook, who writes that he is moved by loyalty to England to put an end to the life of this rebel, and therefore he has put a poisonous "love apple" into Washington's ragatouille (or whatever). The story ends as the cook writes, "But I shall not be hanged ignominiously. No! I shall now take my own life, but not by poison. A cook must know how to use a knife...."

A postscript identifies the love apple as a tomato. The story is fiction, of course. I probably could even do a little research and find the author and title.

Brad "but I am already in my pajamas...." from Georgia

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Ophiuchus
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I thought it was potatoes that were related to the nightshade family...
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Seaboe Muffinchucker
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quote:
Originally posted by Ophiuchus:
I thought it was potatoes that were related to the nightshade family...

Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, the list is actually quite long.

Seaboe

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