Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's settled: It's a fruit


With these scrumptious heirloom tomatoes from our garden...



I made this salad (or a "somewhat salad") for dinner..


I know, I know. I would not win Master Chef with this non-recipe.
But if Chef Ramsey could taste these tomatoes, he would probably give them an award for sweetness.

 These are Golden Medal (yellow/pink) and Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato varieties.
All these beauties needed was just a light sprinkle of flake sea salt, a splash of first-cold-press extra virgin olive oil, and some fresh lemon basil leaves from our garden. In fact, they didn't need the basil.
It was too strong and it overshadowed the flavor of the tomatoes.
Sometimes less is truly more. 

One of my friends stated "I haven't eaten a good tomato since I was a kid. "Why is it that the tomatoes from the stores taste so bad? No wonder so many people don't like them".

It could be because tomato producers pick their tomatoes when they are "mature green".
This means that they are still firm, but well...green. The lycopene that doctors claim reduces the risk for cancer has not developed yet in these tomatoes, nor any kind of (good) flavor.
To make matters worse, producers spray a gas on the poor things called ethylene (derived from petroleum, I'm not kidding). Why? Because it triggers the creation of enzymes which break down cell walls and turn starches into sugar. Tomatoes then begin to soften and to turn red. So they are red, but they don't develop the flavors that can only be developed by ripening the tomato on the vine.

I personally only eat the tomatoes we grow or those from the local farmers market. My window of opportunity is only a few weeks during the summer (like Kramer from Seinfeld with the "Mackinaw" peaches  "they are only here for two weeks")
The rest of the year I eat canned tomatoes, which are picked at the peak of ripeness.
It may sound extreme and limiting.
However, it's like the changing colors of the leaves during the fall.
Because we can enjoy this for a short time, we seem to appreciate it more.
When I eat a tomato, it's a truly cathartic experience.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

So...just only for their amazing sweetness, don't you think that tomatoes
should be once and for all categorized as a fruit? Yes?

Happy Friday!

Silvia

4 comments:

  1. Mmmmm those look amazing! Looking at those pictures just brought back a flood of memories of the taste. There's NOTHING like a tomato straight from the vine.

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  2. Good morning my dear! I am finding a peculiar thing....I am terribly late to everyone's post.....I LOVE TOMATOES! I bet you have many wonderful ways to cook them up! Funny thing, I cannot eat them raw, but I cannot get ENOUGH of them cooked!

    What are you up to today?

    Anita

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  3. Oh Silvia! I love your new profile photo! I did not recognize you!

    Thank you my friend for coming to visit my post. I look forward to receiving your email! BISOUS, Anita

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  4. Beautiful tomatoes. I love tomatoes so much.

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