This book is about the pleasure of eating tomatoes. Take a tomato that has been allowed to ripen on the vine: the plant will have sent its roots deep into the earth in search of food and water while the sun turns the skin of the fruit a deep, dark red. Slice this tomato, sprinkle it with salt, add cracked black pepper and some good olive oil, then eat it. Pure pleasure.
Bareham tells the history of the fruit that originated in South America, where it grew wild. By the time Cortes conquered Mexico in 1523, the tomato was ubiquitous, later spreading up the coast of North America. She also explains how tomatoes should be peeled, how to make purée and even how to carve tomato roses. Then there are 400 recipes, including Green Tomato Tarte Tatin, Roast Tomato and Goat's Cheese Clafoutis, Huevos Rancheros and the ultimate Bloody Mary. There are also inspirational ideas for salsas, chutneys, soufflés relishes and sauces. It's an inspiring book and deserved its shortlisting for the Glenfiddich Food & Drink Award in 1999. --Arabella Buckingham-White