Monday, September 13, 2004


Someone gave me a pot of seedlings early this summer. They looked like tomato plants so I stuck them in an open slot in the sun and forgot them completely. Now I bear the consequences of it: barrels and barrels of cherry tomatoes are adorning my kitchen, and many more are still hanging green on the vines.

Tomatoes have this odd smell: pungent and slightly unpleasant, and after I pick the day's harvest my hands stay smelly despite severe soap-and-water treatments. You might have noticed that I don't like the little buggers (tomatoes, that is), and this is true. I have never liked them, but after they were found to be one of the triggers of my migraine attacks I literally hate them. (I ate three little ones from the vine last week and had one night's pain to reward me for that. I wanted to check if they still caused migraines, I guess. Sometimes my curiosity makes me so stupid.)

Not eating tomatoes cuts your culinary world into half, though, and that's why I ate them for many years despite never finding their taste pleasant. And the structure: mucus surrounding hard seeds!

I'm not alone in being wary of eating tomatoes:

In botany, the tomato is considered both a fruit and a vegetable. Actually, the tomato has been used in many different ways for more than 500 years. Before, its introduction to North America from its South American origins, the tomato went to Europe. It was the Spanish conquistadors who discovered the tomato in Mexico at the end of the 15th century and introduced it to the continent. The tomato was not really eaten until 18th century because people thought it might be toxic. In North America, its cultivation didn't become widespread until the 19th century. Despite its torturous route, the tomato is now the most eaten vegetable in the entire world!

Maybe it shouldn't be the most eaten vegetable in the world. Maybe it should be banned.

Though tomatoes look pretty if you like orange, and now I have lots of gifts to carry to both friends and strangers. I really should write about some foods that I like.