I can’t exactly remember when my love affair with Tomatoes began, but I do know it’s been a while. I have many fond memories of them, from saving the seeds to stirring the large pot of sauce on the stove, tomatoes have been a constant presence in my life.
They are the world’s most popular fruit, the only confusing thing about them is that legally they are a vegetable, botanically they are a fruit but technically they are a berry…go figure…
There are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes but my favorites have always been the ugly heirlooms. The uglier they are, the better they taste. Slice them for a Caprese salad, or eat them simply with fresh bread and olive oil. For a rich and fragrant marinara sauce always use the San Marzano variety. They really are the perfect tomatoes for a sauce, and if you can’t find them fresh the canned ones will work just fine.
I love buying my tomatoes at a nearby farm or Farmer’s market, then store them on my kitchen counter out of direct sunlight to preserve their flavor. You should never refrigerate tomatoes.
When I talk about tomatoes, I of course refer to the real heirloom berries, ripened on the vine, with fabulous flavor, not the green things in the grocery store ripened with ethylene gas. Vine ripened tomatoes are not only delicious but also very healthy. They have twice as much vitamin C as a tomato grown in a hothouse and the lutein content may help improve our vision, not to forget the anticancer properties of lycopene.
The best tomatoes I ever tasted tough, were the ones I picked from my grandparents garden. After a fun summer day swimming at the river we would always come home starving, and go straight to the garden in search of the perfect tomato. The bread my grandma baked that morning would be the next thing on the list dipped in some olive oil. Simple and rustic, it is to this day my favorite food in the world.
Yes, I am the girl that would trade you all of her candy for one big ugly heirloom tomato.
And have you ever grilled a crusty piece of bread…, rubbed it with a clove of garlic and brushed it with some olive oil…? then rubbed a super ripe heirloom tomato all over it, until the juices penetrate the crisp surface and mingle with the garlicky flavor in a sinfully delicious symphony that transports your taste buds to Foodie Paradise …?!
One of those things you must do before you die !