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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Tomatoes On Your Table - Sputnik Magazine 1983

w. Potato Soup with Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes with Walnuts & Tomatoes Baked with Potatoes and Eggs

A brief look at the glorious tomato and its history in Russia from the Soviet magazine Sputnik in 1983.

Has three recipes worth trying out: Potato Soup with Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes with Walnuts & Tomatoes Baked with Potatoes and Eggs.


At various times and in different countries the tomato has been called a big berry, a wolf peach, Peruvian apple, golden apple, apple of love, apple of Eden, etc. For a long time, even in its native South America, it was considered inedible. Brought to Europe in the 16th century, the plant with dark green leaves and bright red fruit ornamented gardens and conservatories. It was not recommended as a food plant.

Tomatoes appeared in Russia at the end of the 18th century. It is said that the exotic fruit, delivered to the royal table from Rome, made an impression on Catherine the Great. The Empress was not aware that for several decades by then, one of her subjects, the agronomist Andrei Bolotov, had been cultivating this “vegetable from across the seas" near Moscow. He had even written a treatise in which he maintained that “the opinion that the tomato is poisonous is unfounded, tomatoes are not only tasty, they are good for you."

Today everyone knows that tomatoes contain fructose, organic acids (apple and lemon), mineral salts, aromatic substances and a whole range of vitamins – C, B, P, K and A.

Vitamin A is probably the only one whose deficiency can be determined by a person himself. If it takes more than six seconds for your eyes to adjust when coming out of the light into a dark room, you lack Vitamin A. In this case you should drink at least a glass of tomato juice with a sprinkling of parsley daily.

A variety of flavoursome and simple dishes can be prepared from fresh tomatoes,:


6 tomatoes, 3 carrots, 2 parsnips, 3 onions, 7 medium- sized potatoes, 4 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the potatoes and boil over low flame for 20 minutes. Peel the carrots, parsnips and onions, slice Julien style and fry lightly in butter with the juice of tomatoes. Add fried vegetables to the potato stock along with quartered tomatoes and bring to the boil. Salt and pepper. Add butter or beaten egg yolk with sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or dill.


500 g tomatoes, 3/4 of a cup of walnuts, 3 cloves of garlic, parsley, celery, dill, salt, red pepper and vinegar to taste.

Finely chop parsley, celery, dill, add salt, crushed garlic and red pepper and mix well. Stuff green tomatoes with this mixture and bake in a covered casserole.

Grind up the walnuts and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dissolve in vinegar. Pour over baked tomatoes and serve hot.


2 tomatoes, 2 large potatoes, 4 eggs, 1 onion, 1 tablespoon of butter.

Slice the tomatoes into quarters and fry. Fry the potatoes separately and the onions separately. Place all the ingredients in a buttered casserole, pour beaten eggs on top and bake. Before serving sprinkle with chopped parsley or dill.

It must be said there was a reason why tomatoes were considered poisonous. But it is not the fruit that is poisonous, but the stalks. Even so, a use has been found for them in agriculture: an infusion of tomato stalks destroys many garden pests.



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