Every Wednesday, I spend a couple of hours at the Santa Monica Farmer Market. At least an hour is dedicated to devouring the Food Sections of The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The next 45 minutes or so are spent talking to chefs and farmers. And the final fifteen minutes are spent buying food. I can not cook, so my purchases are usually just fruit and berries.
Today I bought the most delicious, juicy tomatoes.
The tomato is a very controversial fruit.
While you argue amongst yourselves, I’ll be snacking on these little wonders that I bought today. Vine ripened, smelling like a tomato should smell, and actually tasting like a tomato should taste….these are the first tomatoes of the season that reminded me of the ones that my grandfathers used to bring in from their gardens. They would harvest hundreds and thousands of tomatoes every year. Most, we would eat fresh – a big plate full, sliced with a little salt. Every time they would visit, they would arrive with giant grocery bags full of fresh tomatoes. Those tomatoes, however, were usually just one very small part of the meal..almost an afterthought that we never really gave much thought to at all. When I remember the flavor of those tomatoes, it is sort of like searching for the same croissant taste that I ate in Paris. It’s not gonna happen!!
I don’t take them for granted anymore. Those red things that you buy in the grocery store might look like tomatoes, but they’re really not. This incredible fruit that I bought today ($2.50 lb) might not ever be AS delicious as my grandfathers were…but it put a big smile on my face when I sliced them for lunch today…and remembered the grandfathers and their tomatoes. I’m pretty sure I took those farmers for granted. I don’t anymore.