Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What did Usain Bolt say to the tomato?


Hapless gardener. Keepin' it fresh. 21st century.


It's well known among friends and family that I don't do raw tomatoes. Historically the conversation goes exactly like this.

[Hapless gardener takes tomatoes out of Pret sandwich]

Friend: "Do you not eat tomatoes?"

Me "No, they're the devil's food"

"What about tomato based sauces, like pasta sauces"

"Yes, I like those, it's just the raw texture and flavour of them raw"

"You must like cherry tomatoes"

"No I don't eat any raw tomatoes"

"But the taste totally different. Especially if they're fresh"

"The day I eat tomatoes is [insert appropriate unimaginable event]"

Looks like there are going to be many unimaginable events happening on a day near you soon.

I planted some seeds on 8 April and  left them in the grow house until a couple of weeks ago. At the weekend I noticed the first flowers:

Don't they look sinister?

When I planted the seeds, the reality of eating tomatoes seemed a long way off. But this was the first time I realised, I'm actually going to have to try these. Time is both speeding up and slowing down; the day is looming, approaching with quickening menace. But I now watch the plant as if in slow motion, thinking over every aspect of the main event. The pick, the smell, the placing, the bite, the wash of the juice, the moments that the flavour settles and reveals itself. Then the horrific realisation that your mouth wants it out. In fact you every sense wants it rid of. But the taste, oh it won't ever leave.

The peas i was curious about, having developed a love of beans. But this. No, there is no excitement building on this one, no nervous tension. Just dread. I repeat, food of the devil.

Now, based on my life experience to date I'm expecting a backlash on my take on this nasty beast. But thankfully I'm not alone:

(click me)


Allotment #65 said...

Well I can hardly believe it, you don't like that taste of the 1st bite of a freshly picked Tomato straight from the plant? You nare weird LoL x

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

I may yet be converted Allotment #65, that's just how I imagine the experience to be based on years of accidental rogue tomato in shop -bought sandwiches. Really not looking forward to it

Carolyn said...

It's not the same at all as slimy shop sandwich tomatoes! As a fussy child I was forced to eat my first cherry tomato fresh from the vine through social obligation to a neighbour. I remember holding it in my mouth for as long as I could before I had to bite it, and then it turned out to be amazing!! I can't possibly imagine you not liking them.

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Caz, how much cash has the devil just slipped you?

frasermac834 said...

I take the tomatoes out of shop bought sandwiches too, but I LOVE tomatoes! The big, slightly fluffy then slimy seeded shop bought tomatoes are grown for colour and uniformity of shape -BIG mistake.

My home grown toms rarely even get as far as the kitchen until they glut on me!LOVE them.

Oh, try yellow ones, they are nice too.

This year I have red pear, beef, san marzano plum, yellow, orange/green tiger striped and traditional cherry!

Esther Montgomery said...

But you can cook them - you aren't obliged to eat them raw!


Paul and Melanie said...

lol awww I have to say that for me a fresh homegrown tomato is one of the best things in the world, but I do understand your plight as people tell me they can't understand how I hate honey... But I really really do.... ;)

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.