Growing tomatoes is something that just seems to make a person more Southern. I’ve grown them at various times in my life and my grandmom usually had tomato plants. And I can’t help but think of a scene in Steel Magnolias where Ouiser is dumping tomatoes on people and says she has to grow them because that’s what southern women do… grow tomatoes! And we search for the perfect tomato!
I have to admit, when I was a kid, I didn’t really like tomatoes. I think the acid was too strong or something. But once I got a bit older, I became a huge fan. I could rattle off a bunch of ways I like tomatoes, much like Forrest Gump does shrimp but mostly I love them fresh from the garden, washed, sliced and popped in my mouth if they are the bigger kind. Of course, more and more often, it is cherry & grape tomatoes.
Several years ago I was introduced to a specific variety of cherry tomatoes at work that I immediately loved. They are called SunSugar and our company (Monsanto) sells the seed for farmers. This year I was given a couple of young plants and later I bought one more at a local nursery! The plants are so prolific that I have been enjoying them pretty much daily!
They are so sweet and I have to confess that growing them in my backyard, I’m much more likely to enjoy the harvest whereas squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc all seemed to ruin my beefsteak tomatoes long before they could be picked! Can’t help but wonder if the orange ones just pass the color screen. I think we are getting close in our search for the perfect tomato.
As all of this goes through my mind, I listened to this episode of my favorite food podcast — Gastropod — gives you a lot of food for thought when it comes to tomatoes! I remember cherry tomatoes being sort of a treat… not something we had access to all the time. In fact, all the tomatoes in the grocery store looked alike! Love seeing so many more fruits and vegetables when I go to the grocery now!