A relative of nightshade, the tomato has had a checkered history of public opinion. Most cultures that generate any opinion at all about the fruit are either afraid of it due to its deadly cousin or enchanted by it. Tomatoes were brought to Europe by the Spanish, who busily plundered anything of interest from the New World. Either intentionally or by accident of translation from the Italian, the French dubbed them “apples of love” and the idea stuck.

tomatoTheir reputation was enhanced (or further scandalized) by their color and their voluptuous shape, not to mention their exotic origins. I hear Rome even banned the things for a while, calling them “the devil’s fruit”. Silly, yes, but if you look at them again with fresh eyes, as though you had never seen the plump, juicy, brilliantly red things before, you might sort of figure out what they meant. Unlikely, I know, but it’s possible.

So are they at all aphrodisiac? Not medically. Sometimes psychologically, perhaps, but my guess is that if tomatoes do it for you, you really don’t need much help. Their lycopene is good for prostate health, and beta-carotene is good for both sexes’ reproductive bits, yes. That does not qualify as an aphrodisiac in any reasonable definition, though.

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Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.