Tomato Snob

Will thinks I hate tomatoes.

He’s 90% correct.

On countless occasions, he’s watched me peel limp, pinkish tomatoes off my sandwiches with disgust. Those tomatoes made my soul hurt.

See, I was ruined for all tomatoes during the Summer of 2008.

{Amazing shot of tomatoes at the Portland Farmer’s Market by La Tartine Gourmande}

My friend Theresa‘s family has both a farm in north central Illinois and a lake house in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Four years ago I got to experience both, in a way.

A group of us were headed up to the U.P. for a long weekend. Theresa’s parents had been in Chicago around the time of our departure (I think her brother was moving?) and they’d brought with them several boxes of tomatoes fresh from the farm for us to take on our trip.

This wasn’t my first run-in with homegrown tomatoes. My family had four plants in the yard back when we lived in Texas and we were, at times, so flush with pomodoro that we were begging neighbors to help us eat our feast.

Theresa’s family introduced me to tomatoes in colors I’d never seen before. Not just your standard red, green, and yellow, but variegated! Striped like zebras! There were round ones, oval-shaped ones, lumpy ones. They ranged in size from grapes to softballs.

At the lake house, I’d sit out on the deck overlooking Witch Lake and eat gobs of tomatoes: with salt, with parmesan, plain. I unapologetically ate far more than my fair share. That view, that taste, that summer. Golden.

So yes, I have trouble with sickly, see-through tomatoes in January. I’ve been spoiled. I know what farm-fresh tomatoes in August taste like and I can’t un-taste them. I can’t go back. To me, fresh tomatoes taste like Summer and are worth the wait.

3 thoughts on “Tomato Snob

  1. Cathy

    I wouldn’t say I’m a tomato snob, per se, but I don’t really like the texture of raw tomatoes. So once I get to the middle of a burger or sandwich with a tomato, I pull it out. I’ve tried heirloom tomatoes fresh from the farmer’s market, but I still couldn’t get over the squishy middle part.

    But I’m all over tomatoes chopped up in bruschetta and salsa. And love roasted tomatoes. Call me crazy ;)

    Reply
  2. Erin

    Hooray!

    I am also a tomato snob. I grew up thinking that I hated tomatoes, until one summer I went down to my poetry professor’s farm and had off the vine heirloom tomatoes. It is not an overstatement to say it changed my life.

    Reply
  3. Theresa

    Haha — this was a most unexpected post! I’m going to send it to my mom, as I know she’ll love it.

    One of the best parts about the heirloom tomatoes are their names. My favorite? “Orange Ox-Heart,” which I’m 99% sure we ate at the lake.

    Reply

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