Halloween season is coming, so it's time to consider scary monsters. Shown above is a slice of the "tomato" I very sensibly removed it from my lobster salad sandwich, lest I should accidentally eat it.
The "tomato" is very much like the tomato when viewed from the outside: red, beautiful, enticing. But where the tomato is juicy and delicious, the "tomato" is dry, crunchy, and devoid of flavor. The interior of a tomato is colorful delight. The interior of a "tomato" is dominated by whites and yellows. Nor is is at all delicate or juicy. Poke it with a fork wherever you will, you will find nothing that will give you pleasure to put into your mouth, flense the rest though you will.
The frankenfruit that is the "tomato" is the unholy offspring of advertising and greengrocery. Advertising convinced us that we wanted that perfect dewy exterior. Grocers paid to have the fruit hacked so that it arrived in the store looking like the pictures in the advertisements, at the price of both flavor and texture. The result is something whose appeal is wholly nostalgic.
Nor is this the only abomination that modern mercantilism has visited upon us. Here's a riddle for you:
Q: What do tomatoes, strawberries, and peaches have in common?
A: They didn't used to be crunchy.
If you've never had a moist tomato, if you're not familiar with strawberries that stain your fingers, if you've never felt the juice of a ripe peach running down your chin, you've been cheated of a fraction of the bliss that is your birthright as a human being. I recommend that you go looking for the real thing. It's not easy to find, sometimes, but it's out there.
And that slice of wood pulp they put in your sandwich? Remove it. Lunch will taste better without it.
Above: Tomat O'Lantern courtesy of yours truly. Take the idea and run with it.