• Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World

  • A History
  • By: William Alexander
  • Narrated by: Paul Bellantoni
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author William Alexander takes listeners on the surprisingly twisty journey of the beloved tomato in this fascinating and erudite microhistory.

The tomato gets no respect. Never has. Lost in the dustbin of history for centuries, accused of being vile and poisonous, subjected to being picked hard-green and gassed, even used as a projectile, the poor tomato has become the avatar for our disaffection with industrial foods—while becoming the most popular vegetable in America (and, in fact, the world). Each summer, tomato festivals crop up across the country; the Heinz ketchup bottle, instantly recognizable, has earned a spot in the Smithsonian; and now the tomato is redefining the very nature of farming, moving from fields into climate-controlled mega-greenhouses the size of New England villages. 

Supported by meticulous research and told in a lively, accessible voice, Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World seamlessly weaves travel, history, humor, and a little adventure (and misadventure) to follow the tomato's trail through history. A fascinating story complete with heroes, con artists, conquistadors, and—no surprise—the Mafia, this book is a mouth-watering, informative, and entertaining guide to the food that has captured our hearts for generations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 William Alexander (P)2022 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

“From the man who grew us The $64 Tomato, William Alexander is back in the garden…as well as in pizzerias in Naples (Italy), a ketchup factory, the local Pizza Hut, large-scale tomatoes farms in Naples (Florida), and the farmers markets where heirloom tomatoes are having their day in the sun, again. Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World is a fascinating and funny tell-all tale of how ten tomatoes are shaping our lives in unusual, unexpected, and (in some cases) very delicious directions.” - David Lebovitz, author of Drinking French and My Paris Kitchen

“William Alexander has written an entertaining, broad-ranging history of the tomato, in a conversational, humorous style that uses tomatoes to explore history -- from the Aztecs to Italian cuisine and pizza - along with the introduction of fascinating characters, issues such as climate change and hydroponics, heirloom mania, and the search for flavor in a world of GMOs and factory farming.” - Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds and For God, Country and Coca-Cola  

"[A]n engaging look at the humble fruit. . . Eccentric, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable." - Kirkus Reviews 

What listeners say about Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World

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