I hate fresh tomatoes.
Let’s let that sink in a little bit.
For those of you who love them and live for the summer days when you can sink your teeth into those love apples – really now, love apples??? – it has been brought to my attention that I just might not be American, what with hating fresh tomatoes and everything. But I thought it was “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” Check, check, check and my-first-car-was-a-Chevy-Nova check.
|'Brandywine' tomatoes in my 2008 garden|
Don’t get me wrong. I like tomatoes in general. I think they’re a respectable fruit (yeah, I know, I keep saying fruit; that’s because technically they are) and the heirloom varieties are downright gorgeous. I’ve grown ‘Cherokee Purple’ for several years just because I think they’re pretty and it’s en vogue to grow heirloom tomatoes. They make your garden look better just by being in it.
My husband likes tomatoes, so being a good wife and all, I grow some just for him. I put out one regular-sized tomato plant and at least one cherry tomato variety, because he likes to just walk out to the garden and pop ‘em in his mouth. I tried that once, on a dare. Never again.
I kind of wish I liked them. Eating fresh tomatoes is like drinking coffee. Everyone drinks it, right? Nuh-uh. I don’t like coffee either. Or tea. I kind of wish I liked all three. I mean, fresh tomatoes are good for you. And they’re freakin’ everywhere! I swear. On sandwiches, in salads, at roadside stands, on a bajillion blogs… There are even entire blogs devoted to just tomatoes. Blows my mind.
|'Cherokee Purple' - 2009|
Before you unfriend me on Facebook simply because you think you can no longer be friends with someone who doesn't like fresh tomatoes, consider this. I like other things that a lot of people don’t. Like Cream of Wheat. Yum, oh yum yum yum. Add some butter and top with sugar and I’m in heaven. Add milk and sugar and cinnamon and ohhh, baby. It’s a dessert! And I like braunschweiger. With ketchup. That’s pork liver sausage. See? We’re even.
I’ll let you sneak fresh tomatoes into some of my food, if you chop them up finely enough. Little cubes about a half-inch square (don’t you dare make them any bigger) are somewhat acceptable, if I have to eat them. But don’t overdo it. Just a few, please. And could you get rid of those disgusting seeds? Thank you.
|'Brandywine' - 2008|
My eating just a few in this way was a giant step for tomato-kind and salad pushers everywhere. I never used to eat lettuce either. It’s still not my favorite thing – I prefer spinach (but don’t you dare cook that) – and I wouldn’t eat either one of them if it weren’t for the salad dressing. And let’s not even discuss peppers, okay?
It was just five years ago or so that I started eating cucumbers. I’m a pickle-lover from way back, but pure, unadulterated cucumbers? I had to grow into those. I’ve always thought they smelled fabulous and I could be found huffing cut cucumbers in the kitchen on occasion, but the thought of eating them sent me running far, far away. Then one day, for some unexplained reason, I tried a slice – I think there might have been alcohol involved – and what do you know? Them’s GOOD!
Perhaps there’s hope for me and fresh tomatoes yet, but don't bet this year's tomato crop on it. Until then, if you’re one of those crazy people that like them, come and sit by me at the dinner table. I’ll give mine to you. You're welcome.