I have a confession to make. I really don’t like tomatoes. Raw tomatoes anyway. I know, I know, it’s sacrilege to not want a soggy, crappy tomato slice inserted into an already delicious and well-rounded sandwich. Nothing is so good as a cherry tomato salad with the raw, blandness that not even the basil and cheese can cover up. There must be something wrong with me right?
Drew Long over at DC Foodies recently pointed out that most tomatoes we know and eat today are bastardized, genetically selected versions of their heirloom brethren. In fact, most fruits like the tomato and peppers looked like deformed abnormalities, twisted with rigor before the days of mass production agriculture we know today. Not surprisingly, most stock bread for mass production is distinctive only for their lack of taste and flavor. So maybe I had just never had a good tomato in my life. It’s possible I suppose, but I wasn’t convinced my mind would be changed.
You know who loves tomatoes? My good friend Doug. When Doug heard of my lack of enthusiasm for his favorite fruit, he and his wife insisted on having me over for dinner (Even though his wife Joan, admits she really doesn’t like tomatoes that much either). Did I mention Doug annually plants a gigantic patch of heirloom tomatoes usually ranging from 10-15 different breeds? No joke. These wonderful people have herbs and veggies growing all over the place. Oh right, also, Doug is an avid wine collector. You see where this is going? Maybe better just to show you..
So in the end Doug made me a believer. It could have just been all the wine, but I really enjoyed the variety and texture of the heirloom patch. Flavorful and ripe, the tomato salad we had was bright and well balanced. Maybe I could see myself playing around with some heirloom cherry tomatoes in the near future. But not all habits die so easily. I’m still going to rip out that shitty piece of fruit from my sandwich every time.