The first tomato appeared around 1519 in Montezuma’s garden in South America. At the time, they were thought to be extremely poisonous for human consumption. The misunderstood tomato was regarded as nothing more than ornamental.
Then, in 1808 Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson imported the tomato to New Jersey as a curiosity. It wasn’t until the 1820s that Johnson bravely ate a whole basket of tomatoes on the Salem courthouse steps in front of a huge crowd of people. Since then, the Jersey tomato was deemed a safe and tasty addition to the food chain (so one story goes).
Nonetheless, the aphrodisiac vegetable is a wonderful source of the mega-antioxidant lycopene (it’s what gives them that ripe, red color). Because of its ability to absorb light and fend off free radials, it is one of the most potent “scavengers” of harmful free radicals—more so than better-known antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene. Lycopene has even been linked to reducing rates of chronic illness, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The irony!
Our product development team here at Bobbi Brown confirmed that our very own Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 contains an extract derived from the powerfully protective tomato—so no wonder it’s so popular!
And it may come as a surprise to learn that Bobbi Brown herself is quite the farmer when it comes to this summertime favorite. Bobbi has an impressive garden (re: fortress) of tomato treasures growing in her New Jersey home. If you’re lucky enough to get to visit Bobbi during the summer, you’re more than likely to leave with a batch of her homegrown Jersey tomatoes.
So, now that you’ve got tomatoes, what do you do? Eat them of course. Any way, on anything. Truly—tomatoes in pasta, on pizza, with cucumbers, or even alone with just a dash of sea salt make a summer lunch or dinner memorable. (You’ll be dreaming about those tomatoes long into the grim days of winter.)
One more fun tomato fact before we go: The best organic heirloom tomato Bloody Mary cocktail can be found at the Union Square Café right here in NYC… it’s just a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket.
Hmm, wonder if there’s a connection?