July 25, 2012

An Ode to Tomatoes

A very early Pruden's Purple, the only one showing red.

Is there anything more thrilling for a northern gardener such as myself than seeing tomatoes beginning to ripen? It's not that I don't love you Corn, or Beans, or certainly Eggplant (I adore eggplant), but the fresh, juicy Tomato is the embodiment of summer; sweet and tart, creamy smooth, each variety with its own pleasures. Mmmm: thick slices of tomato with just a little bit of coarse salt, tomato sandwiches on homemade challah, fresh uncooked tomato sauce; or, just standing in the garden, biting in, juice dripping down my chin; or, popping those small rounds of deliciousness, the apricot-colored Sungolds, into my mouth, one after another.

Here is an excerpt of Pablo Neruda's poem "Ode To Tomatoes" (you can read the entire poem here):
the tomato,
star of earth,
and fertile
its convolutions
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness. 



  1. Did you ever eat tomato and sugar sandwiches as a child? Sounds very wrong but a tiny amount of sugar is a good foil for the acid - a bit like using basalmic vinegar on a salad of tomatoes.

    1. No, Blorgie, sugar and tomato sandwiches are a new one for me. I usually do mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato.

  2. Ah Neruda! Making poetry out of convolutions. I have made salads of tomatoes and peaches or nectarines: a good sweet/acid mix.

    1. Julie, don't you love the convolutions and canals! mmm, that salad sounds very good.