Finding out I actually like some tomatoes…

It’s kind of hard to believe these things are even tomatoes.  🙂  I tasted one yesterday and found it sweeter than the grapes I’d bought (I’m trying to break myself of the habit of tasting grapes in stores, though of course that means I get a lot of not-sweet grapes).


So these little guys, I found at a high-end produce market.  Apparently, it’s tomato season?

I woke up before my alarm again today (cracking the blinds helps so much, I can’t even express it), with a little bit of a sore throat.  D says it was probably from dry air.  I drank three glasses of water and went back to bed, and after about an hour snuggled up under the covers, I felt better.

When I finally did get up (I got tired of waiting expectantly for the alarm to go off after an hour and a half, and just got up early)…I ate some cereal and then washed off seven of these little things and ate them.  🙂  (Yes, I counted them.)  😀

The funny thing is that for years; I mean, a really long time — I would not touch a raw tomato.  Any raw tomato.  (Except in tabbouleh.)  I wouldn’t eat anything that had touched a cut tomato or its juices.  (Except in tabbouleh.)  I wouldn’t eat ketchup.  (I still don’t eat ketchup.)  But somehow I got started on heirloom tomatoes and these tiny cherry and grape tomatoes.  I think my first ones were the Sweet 100s that came out when I was …I’m guessing, in my late teens or early 20’s.  They have a really high sugar content.

I just looked up Sweet 100s on Google, and I think these guys I photographed here are probably them.  They are really super sweet.  They taste like fruit.  I got these little guys instead of the orange ones because last time we picked up orange grape tomatoes, the skins were a little tough.  These were the tiniest, though not the most fragrant, and I hoped (accurately) that they would be more tender.

And of course, you know, at the store, there was a display with all of these little tiny tomatoes of different varieties scattered around.  I picked this basket because I really wanted one that was in the center of the display, but I would have ruined the display!  Around here, they put the tomatoes into these little strawberry baskets all next to each other, and then seem to dump all the extra ones that won’t fit in the baskets, on top.  It looked like that.  (I didn’t have my camera, or I would hope to have photographed them.)

And then of course, it’s like, “how do I get these home without crushing them,” right?  Especially when the edge of the strawberry basket itself may bruise or cut something like this (when it inevitably spills little tomatoes over the side).  I think the paper bag I put them in cushioned them somewhat, though, and it helped that I had a flat spot on which to rest the basket.

I’m guessing I can say that it was tomatoes like these that got me to taste any kind of tomato at all…I’ve since tried some of the other varieties of cherry and grape tomatoes (which are generally easier for me to eat), and there are some larger ones — like the Bruno Rosso Heirloom variety — that I will sparingly eat.  I say “sparingly” because they usually end up pretty juicy.  It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that I have a little trouble with the texture of the jelly around the seeds.  If they’re cut, though, even though I’m a picky eater, I will normally try these.  Because they’re good.  🙂

The tiny cherry tomatoes have the “squirt of jelly” thing going on, but the thing for me is that the jelly tastes frikken’ good.

Roma tomatoes, I’ll also eat, though I’m more forgiving with those because of the firmness, low jelly content and concentrated flavor.  I think the first thing I ever made with Romas was tabbouleh.  It just isn’t the same, without tomatoes.  And what I did to ease myself into that was to squeeze out all the seeds and jelly before cutting the flesh.  This made it a lot easier for me to eat.

I’m also, slowly, branching out into pico de gallo.  PICO DE GALLO, MAN!  IT’S SO GOOD!

I think what really turned me off to tomatoes early on was ketchup.  (I still don’t eat mayonnaise or mustard; I even scrape off excess barbecue sauce.  On the other hand, I can eat food prepared with fish sauce.  I don’t know what that says about me.)  I’m not sure if the reason I’m turned off to this is the vinegar (prior to the last five years, I would not eat vinegar except in dill pickles and sushi), or just the texture and the smell.  The smell of ketchup, to me, is pretty gross; but then again, I’ll eat pickled radish that makes the house reek of sulfur, so to each their own.  😉

And, yeah, I did start to eat vinegar, as well.  First it was just dill pickles and sushi, then it expanded to house pickles made with rice vinegar, and pepperoncini and marinated artichoke hearts (though the latter are hard for me to tolerate because of the vinegar, I love the artichoke flavor).  I’m on my way, I guess…

Speaking of which…hmm.  I should cut those vegetables.  And…I should get to sleep.  Hmm.  Sleep, first.  I’ve been up since daybreak…those Persian cucumbers can last another 12 hours, and I got a firmer daikon root yesterday…

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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