Livingston and the Tomato

A. W. Livingston

Foreword and appendix by Andrew F. Smith

A. W. Livingston (1821–98) was a Reynoldsburg, Ohio, tomato seedsman who was the best known developer of tomato varieties in the United States in the nineteenth century. First published in 1893, Livingston and the Tomato contains both descriptions and drawings of the tomato varieties he developed. Livingston discusses his methods and results and how to respond to tomato diseases and pests. In addition, the book features over sixty tomato recipes, including ones for slicing, frying, escalloping, baking, and broiling tomatoes; as well as for tomato toast, custard, soup, pie, preserves, figs, jam, butter, salad, sauce, and omelets.

Livingston and the Tomato offers slices of insight into life in Ohio and America. Livingston’s pioneering work, his entrepreneurial sons, who transformed his efforts into a successful business concern; the application of scientific principles to agricultural practices; and the tremendous growth of the canning and preserving industries were all reflections of the spirit of Ohio and America on the cusp of the twentieth century.

Andrew F. Smith, who teaches culinary history at the New School in New York, supplies a comprehensive foreword about Livingston, the history of this book, and the history of tomato cultivation. He also provides an appendix of nineteenth-century tomato varieties, including information on where to obtain heirloom seeds. Smith himself has written two books on the tomato: The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture and Cookery, and Pure Ketchup: The History of America's National Condiment.

Aug 1998
Culinary History/Ohio
234 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2   8 color plates


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