Tomato Servers: A Ripened Heirloom

For many Southerners, memories of sun-ripened tomato juices dripping freely down our chins kindle summertime nostalgia. We’ve long savored the humble pleasure of eating this plump fruit straight from the vine—an indulgence that would have appalled our Victorian ancestors, whose affinity for table etiquette spurred the production of specialized silverware like the tomato server. Like many silver pieces that debuted in 19th-century America, they were designed for a single purpose with finery and formal food service in mind. Juices and seeds drain through the piercings onto a service tray before slices are ferried to dinner plates.