Friday, August 21, 2009

Did you notice that I didn't choose a favorite yesterday? To be honest, the gray sky had me feeling so low that nothing tasted good to me. Not french fries, not cookies, not even tomatoes.

But, I woke up this morning to bright sunshine. I jumped out of bed, threw up the sash...wait, wrong story, wrong season...I got out of bed with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm to meet the morning. First order of the day was to get some exercise so I went for a walk. Besides, I had a lot on my mind and decided that walking would help me get some things resolved. What walking really does is clear my mind, so I returned home from my walk pondering the same unanswered questions I had before I hit the pavement. After a tall glass of ice water I headed for the garden. I decided to harvest before it got too warm. Anything close to ready had to come in for fear of little critters enjoying my tomatoes for their next meal. And I carefully selected those varieties that I would compare for today's taste test.

Today, I did my taste test a little differently. I chose to include a selection of my favorite tomatoes rather than some of the new varieties. I also decided to include four in the test rather than the usual three. This ought to make up for yesterday.

First, Carmelo - a reliable, medium sized red globe. It's a standard tomato. Better than those you would buy in the grocery store, fine on a green salad but still, just a tomato. Then I cut into Dixie Golden Giant - Wow! A bit on the tangy side, this beautiful gold tomato, not as giant as the name implies, really packed a punch...not too much, rather just enough to wake you up. Definitely in the running. Third, I tried Old German. This is a tomato that last week was delicious and I suspect that, even though it felt perfect when I picked it this morning, spent too much time on the plant. Today it was mealy and I didn't even bother with a second bite. Last, I tried a beautiful, softly multi-colored, multi faceted, fairly large fruit. I've been waiting patiently for these to be ready to pick. Not an easy thing for me to do. I wanted to pick these tomatoes at just the right time and hoped that the squirrels didn't find them as attractive as I did. Luck was on my side as I cut three perfect tomatoes from the plant and immediately brought them inside, out of the sun. I didn't want anything to spoil them. Cutting into this tomato is a visual delight. Each wedge is soft yellow and peach and then bright red. But the real beauty of this tomato is in it's flavor - smooth and mellow, cool and comforting. It's an understated but incredible pleasure. There is no way to eat this tomato without making a little sigh of heavenly delight. Time and again, the Pineapple tomato, is nothing short of absolute perfection.

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