'In the days of Voltaire and Franklin, many of the vegetables that we know today were available, for example cabbages, turnips, carrots, parsnips and onions... Tomatoes were first discovered as a weed in the maize fields of the New World and were not eaten in Europe until the late 18th century and then only when cooked. The first tomatoes to be brought to Europe were yellow, hence the Italian name pomodoro [golden apple]. Later the Jesuits sailed back from the Americas with red tomatoes. In America it was Thomas Jefferson who first started to cultivate tomatoes in his garden at Monticello. By the end of the 19th century people in Europe finally started to eat raw tomatoes as well. Raw fruit was finally acknowledged by the medical world to be a safe and healthy food; hitherto it was believed to cause colic and spread the plague.'
From: Hilaire Dubourcq's Benjamin Franklin Book of Recipes