The Apple of Love by Debralee Mede

Acapulco, Mexico is a beautiful and romantic seaside resort that was once inhabited by the Nahua Indians who were the predecessors of the Aztecs.  Acapulco takes its name from a Nahua myth of two young, ill-fated lovers, Acatl and Quiahuitl, were not allowed to marry.  It is no wonder that the so-called Apple of Love was cultivated by the Aztecs in about 700 AD. The seeds of this fruit, which we treat as a vegetable, were eventually brought to Europe around 1500 when they were carried back to Spain.  This food then got the reputation for making a person “more romantic” and became known as an aphrodisiac.   At one time, this Apple of Love, the tomato, became scandalized as an amorous and erotic food and the Church of Rome called it the ‘the devils fruit’ due largely to its red color and from the crimson juice that flowed from the vegetable. In addition, the word “tomato” comes from the Nahua Indian word ‘tomatl’ which means “the swelling fruit.”   Ever since that time the Europeans have honored the succulence of the tomato and have referred to it as the “Apple of Love” or as the French refer to it  “Pomme d’ Amour.”

     As one would expect there is a simple yet flavorful dish that I really enjoy and  has been a summertime favorite of mine.  I have found that it can be particularly romantic as well.  I have loved it since I first tasted it after arriving on the romantic Acapulco shore several years ago.   This dish is especially wonderful for keeping things light which is decidedly helpful when you need to keep things going “hot and heavy” later.  I am referring to is Gazpacho but a word to the wise though this is considered a cold vegetable soup you will be using a lot of vegetables.  So it may look like a complicated recipe but it is actually easier than making a salad because the blender does most of the work.  This recipe makes about 6-8 ample sized servings.

Gazpacho

  • 24 oz. Tomato juice (about ½ of a large can)
  • 4-5 pounds of ripe tomatoes peeled and seeded. (This is not as much as you think).
  • 1 Green peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 Large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices of course-textured bread soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • ¼ C Fresh cilantro leaves, or parsley chopped (if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 2 T wine vinegar
  • 1-½ T lemon juice
  • 1 t dried basil
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce if desired

Garnish with if desired:

  • Julienne strips of Ham or chopped bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups red cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Sprinkle a few warm garlic croutons on top
  • 1 dollop of sour cream                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Try to use the freshest, best vegetables you can find.  Assemble all your roughly chopped ingredients in the blender or food processor, pulsing them in batches just a few times as you will want to retain some of the mixtures chunky texture. Refrigerate for at least three hours, if you can hold off eating this soup that long.

Try the romance of a kind of “arm-chair holiday” by eating this great chilled soup and escape with the tomato, the aphrodisiac that has a reputation as “the apple of love.”

Debralee Mede

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About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
This entry was posted in Acapulco, apple of love, Aztecs, chilled, Gazpacho, Mexico, recipe, romance, romantic., soup, vegetable and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Apple of Love by Debralee Mede

  1. Gail Ingis says:

    A tomato an aphrodisiac indeed. I absolutely love Gazpacho. I like your recipe, but why do you use bread?

    • Deb Glazier says:

      I love Gazpacho as well. The bread tends to be used in older and more rustic recipes where waste was kept at a minimum; it is a good way to thicken a soup and make it a bit more hearty as opposed to adding cream for example as a thickener and adding more fat for that extra bloom of robustness. There may be other reasons that I am unaware of but I have always enjoyed the addition in Gazpacho. Spanish type soups are not the only ones using bread. For example I just found out from a show done by Lydia Bastianich about the differences between zuppa and minestra . Minestra is a broth based soup using thickening vegetables like beans, rice or pasta. Zuppa in Italian cooking uses bread as one of the ingredients to hold the soup together. Sometimes people eliminate the addition of the bread and either use gluten-free bread or none at all. I hope that this answers your question Gail and I hope that you try the recipe and enjoy it. Thanks for your response.
      Deb

  2. Toni Andrews says:

    Okay, now I’m hungry. 🙂
    The trick is going to be finding really good tomatoes before the local ones start coming in. Ugly ripes!

    • Deb Glazier says:

      I agree Toni that will be the trick: to find the freshest ingredients possible. The season for those fully ripe tomatoes in the summer can make your find so divine, especially when you can locate wonderfully plump, red and fragrant ones. You can also use the heirloom variety tomatoes as well in the yellow or purple colors in this recipe. I would eliminate the juice and double the tomato amount though so that you can focus not only on the flavor but also on the nontraditional color. Tomatoes should be should be soft, heavy and when you press them they yield to the touch and are free of bruises or blemishes as well have that unmistakable ripe scent. Luckily you can get great, ripe tomatoes during the summer months in New England. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I’d never heard the tomato’s history. What an interesting piece of trivia. After reading this, I can see the tomato having a main part in someone’s storyline sometime. I’ve never had Gazpacho, but now I’d like to try it.

  4. Deb Glazier says:

    I hope that you do try it especially if you love tomatoes. I’m also glad you enjoyed the history. Thanks for your comment Laurie.
    Deb

  5. J. Gilbert says:

    That was interesting. Any idea how, or where, the different colored tomatoes came from?

  6. Deb Glazier says:

    Thank you for your comment and question J Gilbert. I will try to answer your question though I am a romantic and a romance writer and not a geneticist. Heirloom tomatoes are a special species of plant and the term refers to any type of seed or vegetable saved and grown for many years. The hybrid varieties of color come from a process called open or manual pollination; pollen from one”parent” variety of tomato is used to fertilize the flower/plant of another “parent” variety. So the best features of each parent are combined genetically to result in plants with those best features including color, size, taste and firmness. However, this process is very different from what is called “genetically modified organisms” or “GMO” where any plant, animal or microorganism can be modified genetically by cloning or protein engineering to alter its genetic make-up. So a plant like a tomato can be paired with the genes of a cold water fish in order to attempt to produce a plant that can resist cold temperatures. Or the genes from a particular plant crop are combined with a pesticide used on that crop, so that it can resist the effects of the pesticide. I do hope that this is helpful. My sincere thanks to the woman at the CT Department of Agriculture for help understanding this information. Nonetheless, I hope that you find, as I have, that tomatoes are truly a sensual fruit and Gazpacho is one amorous and enticing dish. Try it.

  7. Sal Paradise says:

    I love this receipt for gazpacho. I’ve tried it myself and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely… as did my wife( cue the rimshot), though personally I like to add a couple of splashes of hot pepper flake.You know on the soup, not my wife. I never knew tomatoes were called ” the devils fruit”, at one point what an obscure, interesting reference. Great blog.

  8. Deb Glazier says:

    Thank you for your comment Sal. I am glad that you enjoy Gazpacho and the hot pepper flakes can be a nice addition.
    Deb

  9. Kel says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It looks fabulous, and I can’t wait to try it.

  10. Deb Glazier says:

    Thanks. I hope that you will. Maybe you can let me know how you like it at a future time? I’d like that.

    Deb

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