Luckily for Uncle Bills, we have some fantastic help over here, without which we would definitely not be able to harvest all these delicious treats. (THANK YOU ANTHONY, HONOR, LAURA, MARY, OLIVIA, TRUDY, and WALLACE!)
The first week of tomato season is exhilarating. It feels like we have been working towards it all year. (We basically have). And as you pluck that sun ripened fruit off the vine and pop it directly into your mouth….well, lets just say the wait is worth it.
But now, a little over two weeks into a potentially twelve week season, my hands seemingly permanently stained with tomato resin, I have to ask myself what it is about the tomato that drives us to such extremes. What makes people drive to the farm from over 45 minutes away for that sweet juicy taste of New Jersey? When we go to market now and present our summer cornucopia to the public, why do their eyes go blurry so that they see nothing but the tomatoes? When I have a to do list with about 4 bijillion things on it, why do I continuously prioritize everything tomato?
Last night, as Alex, Charlie and I did blind tomato variety tastings (and yes, that is how we spend our Sunday evenings), I really tried to hone in on the tomato flavor. And the more I focused, the less progress I made. As you take a bite, it both melts in your mouth and yet greets your teeth with firm resistance. It is mouth wateringly juicy, yes, but also full of flesh and meat. And while sweet as the summer, it is also tart and acidic . And then it hit me, it is the vegetable that is actually a fruit: it is the perfect contradiction of itself. And somewhere in that intrinsic contradiction lay the secret to its power.
So this week, I salute the tomato and everything wonderful and delicious that it can be turned into