Heirloom Tomatoes

Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the promised land, and it is good.

For about a year now I’ve been passing heirloom tomatoes in my local store and noting that they are twice the price of any other tomato. “What’s the big deal?” I’d wonder. But I could never really justify the expense in my mind. And then a few days ago I decided to indulge my curiosity.

Let me just say that heirloom tomatoes have ruined me for any other tomato for the rest of my life. I had forgotten what tomatoes tasted like in my childhood, before they became texture-less and soulless and devoid of any passion whatsoever. Heirlooms may not be particularly pretty, but they are tomato nirvana. Once you’ve had heirloom, you never go back.

And that’s a big problem, because I’ll rarely be able to afford them, they’re still not universally available, and quite obviously they’re not used in most restaurants. So here I am, having been to the promised land, faced with the grim knowledge that most of the time I shall be forced to dwell in the tomato equivalent of metropolitan Detroit. Life can be exceedingly cruel.

This leaves me wondering if I might have been better off if I’d never left “Detroit” in the first place. Is it better to live in blissful ignorance, or should you be grateful for the brief shining moment you are allowed to experience true genius with the sure and bittersweet knowledge that witlessness shall once again be yours?

It is the same when you experience the perfection of 500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets, five star cuisine, truly dank weed, or phenomenal, mind blowing, out of this world sex. You have been to the top of the mountain, and you prefer the view up there, but in the back of your mind you know you’ll never be able to keep up with the property taxes, so you heave a heavy sigh and trudge back down to the valley and try not to spend the rest of your life gazing longingly skyward.


[image credit: windrosefarm.org]

17 thoughts on “Heirloom Tomatoes

  1. Carole

    I have never had anything to compare with the BLT I had last year with the Heirloom Tomato from our garden. Get a bucket or washtub and plant you a couple tomato plants. In FL you should be able to have them all year. Just a little rain, a little sun and loving hands to produce joyful memories.

  2. I agree with Carole grow your own. Heirloom is worth knowing and tasting. I understand the price though. Yikes! But it is so worth going without something else to buy them.

  3. I was gonna chime in to say grow your own, too, but if you’re moving out of the country you should probably wait. But then you’ve got to grow ’em. Hand over my heart, it’s pretty easy. I grew two varieties from seed last year and the angels sang. Really. I’ve got some going now and hope to be eating them from May ’til at least October (‘cuz in Southern California we’ve got two seasons: late Spring and summer!)

  4. Carole

    Oh I do hope you get to move, but I will feel at a loss. I’m sure you willl continue your blog, and we will stay in touch. Will you be teaching English? There is so little land in Japan, but they have amazing gardens in their back yards. Don’t know about Germany. Wow talk about taking a leap… I was thinking county not country. Still if I was your age I would jump in and go for it with open eyes, heart and soul. Onward and Upward into the Future.

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