I have not eaten a tomato since last summer. I was okay without them until the gorgeous weather showed up. Then the cravings started—physically painful cravings. I was craving a tomato like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream: it was unstoppable. So when I saw these heirlooms at Whole Foods, I was a little shocked, but also very, very excited. Heirloom tomatoes in April? From Ridgley, Maryland? It was then that I noticed the label "hydroponic," meaning that they were grown in a greenhouse in water-based nutrients. Hydroponic crops use less water than mainstream crops and usually don't require pesticides, making an organic approach easier. Organic? Local? Sold!
Thing is, I was worried about how they would taste. I do not have high expectations for tomatoes in April. That's why I don't eat them. Usually. But the weather...oh blame it on the weather.
Maybe saying that these tomato saved my life is hyperbole, but, man, they were delicious, and totally worth the price. They were juicy and almost sweet--perfectly matched with a dash of salt, parmesan, olive oil, balsamic, basil, and toasted bread. Meat? Who needs meat for dinner when you have beefsteak heirloom tomatoes?
Oh man, I can't wait for summer when tomatoes will be plentiful and at their peak. June and July seems a long way off. To help us through, let's talk about it. What fruit or vegetable are you craving?