When I was a child I wouldn’t eat tomatoes. My mom would snack on cartons of cherry tomatoes while we rode in the car, eating them until the acid made her mouth hurt. Oh, not me. Ketchup? On a hot dog, maybe…Sauce? Okay, once in awhile – but never touching my buttered spaghetti. And raw tomatoes…nope, never.
I don’t recall exactly when I changed my mind about tomatoes, but it was a slow, gradual shift. It started with a slice on a sandwich, then salsa fresca. Then I learned about heirlooms…and fried green tomatoes…and tomato jam, and chutney and, and, and…Finally, three years ago I ate my weight in fresh garden tomatoes, quartered and sprinkled with salt, drizzled with emerald green Italian olive oil – a friendly gift from a garden that kept on giving.
If Adult Me could go back and have a sit-down with Child Me, one of the pieces of wisdom I would offer is about the vast sweet deliciousness of a perfectly ripe tomato. The satisfaction of the taut skin of a cherry tomato bursting between your teeth. The warm earthy scent that wafts from tomatoes clinging to the vine in the hot summer sun. I would ask that little girl to close her eyes and inhale the scent, take a little bite and give it just the tiniest chance. I would sit in anticipation while she scrunched up her face and moved the fruit around in her mouth, trying to decide whether she liked this new thing, or she didn’t. But even if Child Me turned up her nose, I could still be satisfied that at some point in her life, she did change her mind. And Adult Me is enjoying every bite.
Extend your tomato season: join us at Jammin’ Crepes on September 16, for a class all about preserving the tomato. Tickets available here.