17.10.06

You say to-MA-toe, I say to-MAY-toe; you said ugly, I say beautiful!


Some of you may remember my ramblings about the so-called "Ugly tomato" (pictured above) where I psuedo-scientifically taste-tested a tomato grown in Florida in the wintertime, the Uglyripe, that supposedly actually tasted like summer tomato. If you've been reading my site for any length of time, you've probably noticed my fondness for the red fruit; quite unlike my Eugene partner in food love, McAuliflower. Well, my tastebuds didn't particularily agree that the Uglyripe tomato tasted like a tomato in the summertime (although I was hoping that would be true...oh why can't that be true?), but I was particularly perturbed by the name they gave the decent-looking specimen of a tomato - Uglyripe. To me, this implies that the perfectly round, cardboard-tasting hockey pucks that you can get in the grocery store in the wintertime (oh, but let's not kid ourselves that summertime grocery store tomatoes are that much better) are what a "pretty" tomato looks like. I beg to differ! This is what a tomato looks like:

Knobby, mishappen, and definitely with some of those brown lines on the bottom on some of the most tasty of specimens! Sometimes big, bursting at the seems, with what I suppose to an untrained eye could be misconstrued as "blemishes." But, just as the ugly duckling turned into a swan with the passage of time, I think the Uglyripe, while not really tasting much like a tomato (although, bad scientist that I am, I could not bring myself to repeat the experiment to verify my results), sure as heck looks a bit more like a tomato that what you find in the grocery store! There is just nothing out there that tastes like a tomato picked from the vine; whether it be from a farmer's market, a friend's garden, or lucky you if you have your own vines in the garden. So, now as prime tomato season comes to an end and the last of these gorgeous little things are still bursting with sun and vine-ripened flavor, I thought I would just send a long a picture or two of what a real tomato looks like to pay homage to the noble tomato and in an effort to encourage all of you to not miss this last opportunity to enjoy the delicious taste of last summer and early Autumn before winter comes along and leaves us with only hockey pucks and Uglyripes once again.

Gorgeous, aren't they? Take a bow, little beauties, it's your time to shine!

One suggestion: This has become a favorite breakfast of LB and mine this summer - a toasted piece of hearty, whole grain bread (we love Cottage Grove Farmhouse Bakery's Dakota Bread), spread with a layer of cream cheese and topped with a few slices of ripe, red tomato. As always, the quality of the ingredients will turn this from something that is an okay combination of flavors into a stellar treat - but with the right tomato, it's pure heaven (I would eat this every morning, if LB would let me!).

8 comments from you:

McAuliflower said...

I should hire you as my special tomato taster: you tell me whether a particular one is worth eating! :)

Julie said...

Local tomatoes are just about to make their exit where I am and I am sad to see them go. Ripe locally-grown tomato makes all the difference in so many things: salsas, salads, BLTs. And my favorite snack all summer is cherry tomatoes -- easy to grow and so sweet I eat them like candy.

vlb5757 said...

Alas, hubby tore out the garden last weekend and brought in about 5 or 6 green tomatoes. I just might have to fry them in the cast iron! I am looking forward to next spring when I can start over again; a much smarter gardener.

michelle said...

McAuliflower, Ha ha - considering your stance on the matter, I don't know if you'd even eat the ones I picked! That said, I'd take any tomato you didn't want to eat in a second! I like the picture by the way!

Julie, I know, I'm sad to see ours go too. We have a pint of tiny cherry tomatoes on our counter right now that are just BURSTING with sweetness. Nothing like it - maybe that's why that first one of the summer and the last one of the fall taste so amazing!

Vickie, Fried green tomatoes are awesome (especially made in a brand new cast iron pan!). I think I may have to do the same with the rest of mine because I don't think they'll have a chance to ripen any more. (but hey, at least Hubby did the sweaty work!)

Anonymous said...

I, unfortunately, had a similar experience with Uglyripe tomatoes. Cardboard is a perfect description of the taste, although styrofoam springs to mind as well. Good tomatoes are so hard to find but they are just about my biggest love when it comes to food.

Clare Eats said...

LOLOL

That is a great post Michelle!

One of my fav breakfast is toasted sourdough with a few rubs of fresh garlic, thin slices of stellar tomato, pepper salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I am drooling btw.

I also just realised that I hadn't replied to ur email!! I am so sorry, I thought it had posted but had just stayed as a draft. Stupid gmail! I will write you a proper email I Promise.

michelle said...

Hi Anna! Glad I'm not the only one to rain on the uglyripe parade. at least they tried, eh? mmm...good tomatoes...

Hi Clare! Yay! So good to hear from you dear! How are you? That breakfast sounds absolutely divine...I think I have to try it! No worries about the email - I figured you were busy, busy, busy like I have been lately! Besides, that happens to me more times than I would like to admit! I can't wait to hear how you're doing and what you've been up to!

Anonymous said...

These tomatophotographs are pure food porn. I am going to swoon. [I could eat tomatoes every day, including, yes. Breakfast.] :-)