"The experience of the arrival, reception and success of New World products in Europe – tomatoes, maize, potatoes, chillies, etc. – is a unique event in the culinary history of the continent. The assimilation of each foodstuff has its own distinct trajectory. This article explores how the tomato gradually and slowly came to dominate Italian cookery and food exports, after inauspicious beginnings in the 1500s, by following the tomato’s itinerary, back and forth across the Atlantic. We do this through the medium of “taste”, analysing the role it had to play in shaping the different stages of the tomato’s Italian history"

I think people don't sufficiently grasp how the diet changed overall in Europe as the result of the importation of foods from the new world. I personally can't imagine a diet without potatoes, corn, and squash, as well as tomatoes.

Depending on climate and other factors, certain of these products rose to more prominence in certain areas.

As to the tomato, I don't think any culture has done as much with it as the Italians, yet it's introduction is so relatively recent, with the first mention in the mid 1600s and more general use in the 1700s.