Tolkien Gateway

Tomatoes

"And just bring out the cold chicken and tomatoes!"
Gandalf to Bilbo Baggins, An Unexpected Party

Tomatoes were supposedly a plant known to the Hobbits.

They were referenced in the first edition of The Hobbit,[1] but J.R.R. Tolkien changed this to "pickles" in the third edition (1966).[2] The most usual explanation for the change is that the American plant-life would not fit in his setting of ancient Middle-earth. However, as pointed out by John D. Rateliff, it may have been simply that Tolkien felt that it was too early in the year for tomatoes and substituted a preserved food instead.[3]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took, and Meriadoc Brandybuck are all cooking tomatoes, along with sausages and bacon, over their campfire at Weathertop when Frodo wakes up. In a panic, Frodo stamps his foot on the fire to put it out before the Black Riders see it, and Pippin complains that Frodo got ash all over his tomatoes.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Tomatoes are among the food stocked in the Bag End pantry.

[edit] See Also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, The First Phase, "The Bladorthin Typescript", p. 34
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, The First Phase, "The Bladorthin Typescript", note 11, p. 43
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag-End, "The Fifth Phase", "New Chapter I. A Well-Planned Party", note 18, p. 18