Tomatoes and many other vegetables were brought to Poland in the 16th century by the Italian chefs who came with the Italian Princess Bona Sforza who married the Polish King, Zygmunt the Old in 1518. Many of the names of vegetables in Polish have Italian roots.
To this day, soup greens* are known as włoszczyzna or “Italian stuff”.
Włoski is the Polish word for Italian.
Some writers say that vegetables other than cabbage and root vegetables were virtually unknown in Poland until Princess Bona introduced them, and her cooks helped to bring in the use of vegetables in royal Polish cuisine; however records show that the court of King Jagiello (who died in 1434) enjoyed a variety of vegetables including lettuce, beets, cabbage, turnip, carrots, peas and cauliflower.
*Soup Greens is a phrase found in American cookery writing – I have not really seen it in British writing.
Soup Greens are a vegetable stock basis for soups and other vegetable or fish dishes.
(They are also the vegetables that are used in any casserole type dish).
In German they are known as suppengrünand in French mirepoix.
The tomato is botanically the fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, although from a culinary point of view it is a vegetable.
It belongs to the deadly nightshade family as does the potato.
The tomato plant originated in the Andes in South America and tomatl was the name in the Nahuatl language give to it by the Aztec people, which then became tomate and then tomato in English.
The tomato was brought over to Europe by the Conquistadors in the late 15th Century.
The original fruits were yellow hence the Italian name pomodoro (pomo d’oro – apple of gold).
When the Italian princess, who became Queen Bona of Poland on her marriage to King Zygmunt the Old, came to Poland with her chefs in the 16th Century , the tomato was introduced to the Polish diet.
Tomato in Polish is pomidor – so you can see or rather hear its Italian root.
Home grown tomatoes are of course the best, however here in the North of England I have not had much success in growing them outdoors.
To get the best flavour from tomatoes it is best NOT to keep them in the refrigerator.
A simple tomato salad is served in Poland, always it seemed to me with the addition of onions, chives or the green part of spring onion. For many it is standard fare for breakfast with cold meats or Polish curd cheese.
Tomatoes – thinly sliced into whole rounds if small or halved if large.
Half an onion – finely chopped or
Chives or the green part of spring onions – finely chopped