The Tomato: An Unnecessary Evil

Today was the day I had decided to eat my first tomato. When I say my first tomato, I mean my first tomato. First one ever. You’ll see why here in a minute. Tomatoes are awful, awful foods if you try them raw. In their raw form they are pervasive and soggy and slimy and juicy with deadly toxins and terribly smelly and full of deadly carcinogenic seeds (do your research!) and from the devil. Notice that I prefaced that trail of descriptives with “In their raw form.” Do not argue with me and tell me why you like tomatoes,because number one, you’re wrong and number two, I don’t care what you think about them.

I hate them.

There are some good things come from tomatoes and I am glad to offer up the mad propers where they are due. Let’s take a moment together to consider.

  1. Salsa. I love you. Besides your awful jar shapes from commercial failures like Chi Chi, you are, as a food category, beautiful and incredible. You are the pregnant woman of food. (Don’t think too hard about that. Just go with it.)
  2. Tomato/marinara sauce. Without you, there would be no pizza and no spaghetti. This makes me tear up at even the thought.
  3. Ketchup. I can live without you, but I still have some affection and appreciation. You don’t get your own holiday, like salsa does, but you rock in your own understated way.  You are Linus in the Peanuts gang. Helper to everyone, but rarely center stage.

And there are occasionally some tomatoes found in the wild that are fascinating to behold, such as this little fella.

It's what he deserves for tasting so bad.

But mostly – MOSTLY – the tomato is bad. But today was my day to eat one, so I forged ahead. I spoke to Becky the Cheerleader (by this I mean, she was cheering me on to my task,  not that she is akin to a pom-pom-bearing girl named Gigi) as I was driving toward the grocery store. In three minutes or less, she told me many things: Get salt (didn’t have any). Stop expecting it not to be slimy. Think of it as a FRUIT. Fruits continue to ripen after you pick them. Vegetables immediately start to die once picked. Don’t wash them down with the ‘nasty aftertaste’ of Diet Mtn. Dew, because they are so juicy and good. If she’d said this line first I wouldn’t have heard another word she said. As it was, I screamed and hung up on her. Not really, but I should have. The LIES! I got other advice as well, mostly about how to choose the tomato once I found myself in the unfortunate location of standing directly in the tomato section of the Produce Department. Pick a ripe one. Wait till they’re in season.

I’ll tell you what season they are in: Foul and Disgusting. Nothing else matters.

And then I went to the park, the most logical location for a tomato tasting. My son begged me not to eat one. He is like me: easily disgusted and quick to gag. Also awesome.

Here is the conclusion of the matter, for your viewing pleasure. I ain’t puttin’ on here.

So, not to spoil it for you, but this is my first–and last–tomato.



8 thoughts on “The Tomato: An Unnecessary Evil

  1. Cut it up or slice it up or dice it up, but why in the world would you try to eat it like an apple?! I wouldn’t like it that way either, and I like raw tomatoes.

  2. Well, you aren’t my daughter. My mom would slice them, set them on the table in a bowl. I once ate so many that when i broke out in a rash on my chest, I thought I was allergic. Actually, I had the 3 day measles (at finals time of the 9th grade). Still had to take finals even though I couldn’t go to achool. Try them with salt and a little mayo on top. Never eat one whole as you tried to do!

  3. Well, I almost had to unsubsccribe over this posting!!! But I took a deep breath and reconsidered, I would really miss the plastic baby doll.
    I work with small children all day long as well as eat lunch with them. I have come to the conclusion that there are just some foods that a child cannot eat. You and tomatoes are that food and that small (overgrown) child. My little sister was a food gagger deluxe, didn’t like things that were mixed up, turned her nose up at 7/8 of all foods put on the plate in front of her. So, I came to the conclusion that I have childhood issues with food snubbers. I spent 18 years sitting next to her, listening to my parents cajole, nag, chastise, encourage, and basically be frustrated with her.
    Now I sit next to small children that are not my own, I am not related to, like but don’t really love, and they don’t like peaches because they are peach, green beans look slimy, tuna salad sandwiches has weird looking things in it, and so on and so on and so on.
    I have come to peace with it, and I think it is okay if you like or don’t like foods. Just means that I get more of those tomatoes, ship them my way. My best tomato years were spent as a young married in Texas with tomato plants that were so prolific and so delicious. Those were happy years for my tomato loving heart! And yes I slice them up, I don’t like the juice running down my face. Right now I am looking at the snow out my window and dreaming I am eating a tomato in the hot summer Texas sun!

  4. I was once a tomato hater too. Then I moved to California, and my neighbor grew the best tomatoes ever. Homegrown is the only way to go, even with Ruskin & all its tomatoes so close to you. I don’t eat them plain, but in salad with Salad Supreme and some oil and apple cider vinegar — yummy.

    You tried to go hard core when you should have tried baby steps. I admire your fortitude and marvel at your insanity. BTW, I just bought my first tomato plant of the season today . . . come visit when they’re ripe.


  5. we don’t actually have to go to youtube and then come back…since they’re embedded, they play here.

    and that was dumb. most people, even ones who like tomatoes, don’t eat just a plain whole tomato. i told you — olive oil and salt and pepper.

    still. it was entertaining to watch.

  6. I too am a hater of the tomato. We should start a club! I have been told by lots of people it is because I have never had a good one! Not true they are all bad!

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