Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm a Tomato Racist

Tell me if this doesn't look like some lusciously plump sweet fruit? Something along the lines of Persimmons, oranges, nectarines?

Why the fuss over the simple tomato? Reason is simple. I dislike em.
I can't take the mushy squishy-ness of this. To me, this vegetable doesn't make sense. It's neither flavourful nor tasty, nor does it have a unique distinct-ness that appeals. Perhaps the problem doesn't begin with the tomato, perhaps it really is the fault of hamburgers. Since time eternal, burgers are known to be married with tomatoes and lettuce as a natural pairing. The weird thing about me is that I tend to keep re-trying foods I dislike, hoping to discover that little secret that makes others go gaga over them. Things like Ladyfingers, Aubergines, Onion, Chinese Parsley, Tomatoes, etc.

My myopic view of the mighty tomato changed when I had my first taste of a real Caprese Salad in Da Paolo, amidst lush greenery in Cluny Court and then again in Italy. The simplicity of a mouthful of thick, fresh mozzarella cheese with equally thick robust and firm buffalo tomatoes. The drizzle of olive oil causing these foods with almost opposing tastes, meld into a medley that just makes it seem... right.

And I had air flown Japanese tomatoes when I was in a Japanese Restaurant lately. The shockingly ice cold gush at the first bite, the sweetness that followed. Surreal.

And then my old memory bank jolted, realising that back when I was working regionally, I used to love the Chinese Restaurants' appetizers of ice cold tomato chunks, dabbed daintily with granulated sugar.

So, when I came across a tomato that was bigger than my fist at a local grocer, I couldn't resist. I had to know why these darn tomatoes cost approximately USD 3.80 each. Will update when I finally sink teeth into it. By the way, mommie dearest, commented that at almost USD4.00 per pop, I had better lick the entire tomato and space out the pieces throughout the week. I also got some Japanese tomatoes which I ate as is, these cost USD4.00 per bag of 3 and they are absolutely sweet and firm with a touch of squish. Mmmm I am in lurrrrve.

Conclusion? Perhaps it really isn't the mighty tomatoes fault that caused emotional scarring since my jaunty youthful days. Perhaps it was the locally grown or neighbouring tomatoes that gave cause to the fear *wags finger at those baaaaad tomatoes*. Perhaps I'm 'aging' in taste as I mature. Or perhaps... it's the difference between a to-mah-to and a to-may-do.

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