Introducing the tomato.
It comes in many shapes, sizes and colours but it’s best known wearing a red coat and whether or not you believe it to be part of the vegetable family or fruit, it has graced our plates and tables for many years.
So why have I chosen to feature our red friend? Well, I’ll tell you.
Life was simple, free and easy growing up in the states during the 70’s and as a kid, I had the pleasure of regularly visiting farmer’s markets and helping my brother and later on my parent’s tend to an extensive and beautiful vegetable garden in the heart of Northern Maine, New England.
At a very early age, I remember my father bringing home his favourite plum tomato’s and eating them like candy. They were bright red, shiny and were still attached to their vine with soft and fragrant leaves. It’s hard to explain the scent but I guess they smelled like sweet earth to me. I loved them and they were easy to pop in your mouth.
“Where’s the beef?” Beefsteak tomato’s… now this one is the Daddy of all tomato’s! As much as I’d like to say my first experience of this meaty fruit was in New York, I will hold my hand’s up and admit that New Jersey at that time had the best! (sorry fellow New Yorka’s)
Now this is one that can ONLY be enjoyed 2 ways:
- cut in half, salted and eaten like an apple
- Sliced thick and served on a juicy burger
My summer’s spent in Maine as a child were magical. It was like camping, an adventure of sorts and it helped me to appreciate nature and the simplistic life. What kid wakes up in the morning, picks tomato’s, green beans and sweet peas off of their vine’s and eats them quite happily whilst walking through a maze of blooms to reach a babbling brook only steps away? It was me and I am grateful.
There’s a bit more to this story, which was the motivation for this post. Moving to Northern UK was a culture shock for me in the beginning and I had to adjust to many differences, mainly food. My first tomato experience here was completely different.
Entering the quite reputable kebab take-away… so you can probably gather that I’m pretty darn passionate about food in general. “What would you like on your kebab Miss?” “Oh, I’d like tomato, lettuce, onions and whatever else you have in the way of salad please.” I got home and opened the carefully wrapped package. Orange?? These tomato’s are orange. My husband (who is not entirely passionate about food in general) replied, “what’s wrong with that?”
My reply: “Everything darling, just everything.”