Happy 200th anniversary to the tomato in the Middle East

I was thinking about Ancient Egyptian food and what is cooked today that would have been cooked then. Well Egyptian’s seem to use tomatoes in EVERYTHING these days but it is such a recent import. According to Wiki

The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker, British consul in Aleppo circa 1799 to 1825.[11][12] Nineteenth century descriptions of its consumption are uniformly as an ingredient in a cooked dish. In 1881, it is described as only eaten in the region “within the last forty years”.[13] Today, the tomato is a critical and ubiquitous part of Middle Eastern cuisine, served fresh in salads (e.g. Arab salad, Israeli salad, Shirazi salad and Turkish salad), grilled with kebabs and other dishes, made into sauces, and so on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato

Amazing isn’t it, even Italy has only had them for about 500 years, imagine pasta and pizza without tomatoes.