I'm not certain where to start with this one except to say that most of the time, I hate tomatoes. Whether this is a genetic or learned dislike, is debatable. My children don't care for them and my mother did not ever eat tomatoes. Since this always seemed to be so shocking to her friends mom finally decided that it would be easier to say that she had an allergy rather than dare admit that she just didn't like them. Ironically, a year after her death, I visited the cemetery to find a tomato plant growing somewhat victoriously atop mom. There was something about that sight that made me grin before I unceremoniously yanked out the offensive intruder. The tomato was not going to win.
For me, I think it's the consistency, the slime, the ick factor of a raw tomato not to mention the lack of any great flavour that causes me to cringe. I will occasionally cut up a tomato into tiny specks, omit the seedy gooey part, then put the remainder on a salad. Sometimes, I even have a craving for a toasted BLT in which case, I will make my sandwich, adding thin slices, then whatever tomato gut droppings fall back onto the plate when I take bites, get left there.
I felt so affirmed the first time I met another person who disliked tomatoes. She was a co-worker who would refer to the offensive fruit as "poison". When we went for lunch together, she would order a sub sandwich "without the poison" pointing all the while toward the container of sliced Romas. We chuckled when I would order mine "same as hers...no poison." There was no exception when we had takeout Wendy's salads either. Luckily, there were lots of takers for free food in our staff room. The nasty cherry tomatoes which contaminated our luscious green leaves were usually in great demand.
I never made a fuss in front of my children. In fact, I don't remember ever disliking tomatoes in my early life. I didn't pick them off my food nor did I order anything without tomatoes so I have no idea where their aversion originated. Having said that, we all eat and enjoy ketchup and tomato sauces and since cooked tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, I don't feel a huge sense of loss.
In the last three years, I have discovered two things. One is that my new hubby is the tomato growing king. We have tomatoes in various shapes, sizes and forms of ripeness everywhere...on vines, in the fridge, on countertops, in the freezer and on the patio. He cooks, freezes, eats and gives tomatoes away. I am ready to gag if I have to look at another tomato. I must first admit though that I recently I tasted a bit of one of the Beefsteaks. It had a pleasant scent and actually contained some flavour. I remembered a similar sampling at the Kitchener Mennonite Market many years ago. This is not enough to convert me however. Secondly, I have learned that at least two of my newly inherited grandchildren detest tomatoes. Hurrayyyyyy...there are more of us out there...and part of my new family too!
Last week, I went to visit the cemetery. There I saw a giant green beanstalk growing. Odd. I like green beans. I have no memory of my mom and green beans, however, not being one to discriminate, I pulled the plant, beans and all and contributed it to the compost pile.