Just back from Publix (our grocery store), picking up the few items I needed. I get most of my food from Costco and Whole Foods, but there are still certain things I need to pick up at Publix. I love Publix! It truly is a pleasure shopping there (their motto). It’s clean, well organized, everyone is helpful, and they take your groceries out to your car. I do feel blessed to have Publix and Whole Foods just about 5 minutes away from my house. It’s great!
Back to the point of this post. Hubby and I are very finicky tomato eaters. It is something we have in common. Funny, actually. He and I both like tomatoes in things…..ketchup, spaghetti sauce, chili, salsa, soups and various other things. Our main thing…we don’t like the mushiness and seeds of tomatoes. Therefore you will never catch us eating raw tomato slices on a sandwich or hamburger. No chunks of tomato in soups and stews and sauces. Interestingly we do like bruschetta and pico di gallo.
Over the years…especially the past 5 yrs for me…I’ve gotten less picky about the chunks. Especially since discovering Rotel mexican style. I’ve also gotten good at making my own from scratch pizza sauce, and I don’t mind chunks of tomato in soups, stews and such. Hubby…..not so much.
So as I’ve been getting more and more into fresh, organic, local…..I’ve started really wanting to overcome my fear of tomatoes. Though I don’t like the seed taste, or really even the “fresh” taste of pure tomato…well there just has to be a type of tomato in which I’d like the flavor. There are so many….roma, plum, vine, beefsteak…and my mom has me pick up these lovely Campari tomatoes at costco. If I buy the right tomato and dice it and flavor it appropriately, I should be able to start cooking with them, don’t you think?
And though I swear I don’t like the “fresh” taste of tomato…they have to be tastier than the canned organic diced tomatoes I buy now, right? If I add enough garlic and olive oil they do take on another flavor, right?
I’ve been wanting to try making bruschetta lately. They have wonderful bruschetta at the restaurant where I work….only red tomato, yellow tomato, red onion, olive oil & garlic. It is delicious! So tonight I almost bought fresh tomatoes for the first time…ever!? $4.09 a pound! I was only getting 4 small tomatoes for that. I put them back. The Campari tomatoes are a much better deal at Coscto…the ones I pick up for my mom. They are $5.49 for about 12. And they actually look and smell like they taste good.
I know it’s winter and all, but here in South Florida this is when our farmer’s markets are in full swing!!! Yes….that’s right. We are on an opposite gardening schedule than most of the country. Our farmer’s markets are open Oct through April/May. It’s just too hot for a lot of produce in the summer.
So a few questions for you tomato lovers…..or at least those of you not scared of them:
* What type of tomato do you like the best for Italian dishes (pasta, bruschetta, etc).
* What is your favorite type of tomato & why? How does it taste?
* Where do you get the best deal on your tomatoes? How much do you pay?
* Any tips for fresh tomato newbies like me??? Especially since I don’t like seeds and mush.
* How do I store them properly?
Thanks so much for your help!! I really have no idea what I’m doing, and I do want to demystify the tomato! I’m actually hoping to not only overcome my fear….but hey, maybe I’ll actually start to like them a little.