Saturday, August 16, 2008

A New Love

I have a new love in my life and it’s an heirloom tomato. I received two pounds of them at my organic farm this week. I heard the farmer’s wife comment to someone that she had a new favorite tomato. She recounted how her husband had brought some home from the field one evening and made a tomato salad that blew her away. So when I picked up my two pound allotment, I reached right for the ones she had been speaking about.

They are fragile, with cracked, greenish-brown tops. But inside, they are a deep, juicy red. I cut one up and put it in a bowl with some cottage cheese. I couldn’t believe the flavor that exploded inside my mouth when I took the first bite – sweet, rich, tangy, wholesome – a sharp contrast to the smooth, bland taste of the cottage cheese.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote about heirlooms and how some people treat the seeds, passed down through the generations, as collectors’ items. She mentioned that they taste better, much better, but I couldn’t really imagine how great the difference is.

I never looked forward to a tomato as a treat – ice cream, chocolate or cookies were more likely candidates. But now, I’m rationing my heirlooms, eating one per day, and enjoying them tremendously.

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