Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer Treats

Much is being made of tomatoes this time of year. Between the articles extolling their summery virtues and those bemoaning the various fungi that are afflicting many of the crops this year, one can scarcely avoid thinking about these brightly colored orbs.

Which has made the mediocre tomato haul that New York has experienced this year particularly vexatious. A cool, damp summer seems to make for pale tasteless tomatoes, heirloom or not. Or perhaps the good ones have just been delayed? Let's hope that is the case.

But no matter. California, which is experiencing an unusually hot summer and extraordinarily dry conditions, is tomato heaven at the moment. A trip to Wild Boar Farms' booth at the Grand Lake Farmers Market on Saturday yielded this stunning collection.

Can you guess which one they call the "Berkeley Tie Dye"?

These tomatoes tasted so perfectly fresh and sweet that I almost didn't recognize them as vegetables (or fruit, whichever school you subscribe to). It is no wonder that they are a supplier to Chez Panisse.

As my return to New York is imminent, I am currently gorging myself on beautiful fruits (and a few vegetables), taking advantage of the good stuff while I can. As much as I adore New York, the produce (other than apples of course) simply does not compare to what I became used to growing up in California. The fragrant, almost floral melons, sweet nectarines (even the wrinkled up old ones in the refrigerator are phenomenally delicious) and tiny strawberries that are scattered throughout the kitchen, along with the sweet juicy pears from my parents' tree, will have to tide me over until my next brush with perfect produce, whenever that may be.


Jane said...

How divine being a tomato lover they look great. Actually the toms we get in Australia are a bit limited. I have never seen green tomatoes and those stripy ones we don't get either. Just roma, cherry, black russian and basic round ones. Or maybe I need to look harder. When they are that good you don't need to do anything to them, just a bit of salt and olive oil.

Kay said...

Oh! I know this place of which you speak...few and far between the east coast gets the delicatable treats of which the west does not even have to necessarily even try to produce! mmmmmmmm.....enjoy and savor each moment and bite! :)

The Townhouselady said...

I just want to slice that big tomato sprinkle on some salt and devour it.

Nothing better than a good tomato.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Jane - How odd, I always imagine great bounty when it comes to produce in'll have to come to CA one summer and give these a try! Although I must admit that Black Russian tomatoes are quite appealing...salt and olive oil is exactly how we've been eating them!

Kay - True, although the east can turn out amazing fall fruits and vegetables. Too bad that's not my favorite produce season!

Townhouselady - I couldn't agree more. And conversely, there is nothing worse than a mediocre tomato!

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