Monday, January 28, 2008
Well, friendly readers, another week, another vegetable. Of course, tomato week brought with it the usual slew of controversy, which I will address first and foremost. Namely: is it appropriate to include tomatoes on vegetablesarefriends or is this particular friend, in fact, a fruit? My research on the subject (by which I mean wikipedia) led me to this helpful information:
Botanically, a tomato is the ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant, a fruit or, more precisely, a berry. However, the tomato is not as sweet as those foodstuffs usually called fruits and, from a culinary standpoint, it is typically served as part of a salad or main course of a meal, as are vegetables, rather than at dessert, as are fruits. The term "vegetable" has no botanical meaning and is purely a culinary term.
Additionally, the Supreme Court (for those readers who prefer that authority) ruled on the matter in 1893, stating that for tariff purposes, the tomato would be considered a vegetable. However, as I imagine the bulk of my readers are Arkansans, you should know that our fair and unbiased state has chosen to avoid all controversy by declaring the "South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato" to be both the state fruit and the state vegetable. On an unrelated and fairly uninteresting note, the state soil of Arkansas is Stuttgart.
I hope you will consider this adequate proof of the integrity of allowing the tomato to slip in. As a final argument (and I promise to get off wikipedia after this one last fun fact) the specific name of the tomato translates to "wolf-peach" and how awesome is that? So yes, without further ado...tomato week:
I'm afraid that tomato week did not go quite as successfully as spinach week. Which is not to say that I ate fewer tomatoes, but that at times my heart just wasn't in it. It started off well enough with a kind donation to the cause of tomato herb bread. As appreciation of this donation, I feel some free advertising is in order: if you live in Little Rock, you should definitely trot down to Old Stone Mill Bread (yum!). I also made some tomato sauce the first day and that went rather excellently. I then made some salsa that went somewhat less so. It seems that simply chopping up a tomato and calling it salsa leaves you with an end product that tastes much more like chopped tomato and less like salsa.
I ate a good deal of tomato soup throughout the week, but this was a bit cheating because I already liked tomato soup. It was nice to have the solace that even if I don't come to like raw tomatoes, at least I can still get my tomato fix through warm liquidy tomato soup goodness. At some point this weekend I made some bruschetta, which also came out very well. Unfortunately, we didn't allow enough time to eat it after painstakingly making it, and had to take it on the road. While not the most travel-friendly food, it was so delicious that one friend had no problem scooping up fallen bruschetta from the floor of the car. Luckily, not my vehicle, lest I be remembering tomato week longer that I'd like.
The final test was eating a slice of raw tomato (with some salt and pepper) which was just plain not that good. Of course, in defense of the wolf peach, I realize they are woefully out of season and I'm probably eating more ethylene than tomato at this point, so I promise to give them another chance come summer. Until then, I think soup and tomato sauce will have to tide me over.
Next week: carrots!