Return to the Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Pomme d'???

Posted by wesley_va z7 VA (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 9, 06 at 16:24

Every year I add a page on period vegetables to our website here at Colonial Williamsburg that I encourage all to visit. This year I am looking at the tomato, pepper and eggplant which has got me looking at the pomme d'amour mystery.

In 1554 Matthioli enlarges his commentary on Dioscorides and gives the Italian name for mala aurea, which he uses in the 1544 edition, as pomi doro, supposedly referring to the golden color of the fruit. This is confusing in that all descriptions of the tomato after this time, that I can find, give red as its color.

It is possible that pomi d'oro was borrowed from the Spanish pome dei Moro (fruit of the Moors). As the Moors were pushed out of Granada, their last strong hold on the Iberian Peninsula, in 1493 it is unlikely that this name was ever applied to the tomato and probably described the eggplant.

The French pomme damour is possibly a corruption of pome dei Moro but more likely in reference to its supposed aphrodisiac qualities originating with Matthioli as he classes it with the mandrake.

However, I have never found an English reference to the tomatoe as an aphrodisiac and am wondering, was the first tomato in Europe really a yellow variety, as unlikely as that seems...where do we get pomme d'amour...Carolyn, are you out there?

Follow-Up Postings:

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here