Mac Lane Special for News and Record
My goal was to try a bite of raw tomato every day for a month.
Call it a small step towards personal growth.
Call it a small step to make my life a little easier. Wouldn’t it be great if every time I ordered a salad, I didn’t have to perform surgery (a procedure I called a tomato-ectomy) to remove the unwanted tomato pieces?
Call it a small act of surrender on my part because there is no food on the planet that has given me as much heartache and heartache as the tomato.
Let’s face it. There is no other food like the summer tomato.
Cabbage, kale, squash and zucchini grown at home don’t elicit the same response. Not by far.
I can’t think of any other food that people are so enamored with…that if you admit your aversion to it, you’re treated like you’ve broken an unspoken summer law.
I’ve never understood why everyone is obsessed with tomatoes from the vegetable garden. Fanatically so.
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It’s like people just can’t fathom that there’s someone on this planet – namely me – who doesn’t share their enthusiasm for home-grown tomatoes. And perhaps the most frustrating thing is that when you tell people you don’t like tomatoes, they don’t believe you. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had that went like this:
I’ll say, “No thanks. I really don’t like tomatoes.
“How can you not love tomatoes? I bet you’ve never had a really good one. You must try a local summer German Johnson on white bread with pepper and Duke’s mayonnaise.
“I’ve tried it and I honestly find the tomatoes to be smelly.”
“Well, you’re just not American!”
And it was my grandmother.
OKAY. I made this last line. My grandmother doesn’t really think I’m not American – just a tomato heretic.
So, like I said, a few years ago I was determined to teach myself to love tomatoes by tasting one every day for a month. I did it. And guess what? It did not work.
I always hate raw tomatoes. And what’s more, in the years that followed, I’ve tasted hundreds more tomatoes, and each time I still find them revolting. Sorry, rebelling isn’t a strong enough word. Disgusting disgusting and revolting is a bit more specific. A viscous, acidic poison might be even better.
What reminded me of all this was that my wife and I just got back from the farmer’s market, and I can tell you that the summer tomato season has started. We saw Bigger Boys, Better Boys, Beefsteaks, Cherokee Purples, German Johnsons, Romas and Cherry Tomatoes.
For most of you, in fact, I bet for almost all of you, this is good news.
For me this is not the case. I’m afraid of the tomato season.
So maybe this summer, instead of biting into so many tomatoes, I think I could bite my tongue instead.
Mac Lane lives in High Point, has three children and works in the furniture industry. And did we mention he hates tomatoes? He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.