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.