Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tomatoes worth eating have finally arrived

I just finished a few weeks vacation in the Adirondacks. I returned to Arlington just in time for the farmer's market. The difference between what the market was when I left and what it was today was staggering: summer came out while I was gone. Tonight's dinner absolutely blew my mind — it's amazing how every year I forget just how good peak flavors are. In true farm market fashion, the foods that came out the best tonight were those I did the least to. The heirloom tomatoes sliced and sprinkled with basil and salt were the kicker. I had intended to do something else with them, but after making my first cut into one and tasting it, I knew anything else would be a waste.

These were the first tomatoes I bought this year — I've been letting my nose be my guide above all else, and it hasn't disappointed; you have to wait for tomatoes with that knock-your-socks-off fragrance, but it really is worth it. It makes me wonder whether it's worth buying fresh tomatoes the rest of the year at all (if you can't have the good stuff, it seems better just to go with canned, which pack more flavor than off-season fresh tomatoes anyway).

The corn was also fabulous — so much so I didn't adulterate it at all, just grilled it in its husk and ate it straight. I don't know why I ever bother trying to eat corn before August.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the last year or so, I came to the realization that my mother had never really purchased a grocery store tomato in her life. I myself am not a fan of the tomato (I do not eat them raw) but I can understand the concept if only because of the Guy Clark song.

And you are right about summer: two and three weeks ago, the market in Troy had only greenhouse-grown tomatoes in any quantity. Last weekend, however, I got some really good ones at a stand in Easthampton. Or at least, so I am told by the people who like raw tomatoes. I satisfied myself with an obscene number of ears of sweet corn.