Dixie Peach: Round, firm and juicy

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Round, firm and juicy

Reluctant as I am to insult any Spaniards who may be around, I have to say that tomatoes from Spain just aren't as good as tomatoes from Mississippi. Don't get me wrong. Spanish tomatoes are pretty good. They're tasty and juicy but they lack that extra depth of flavor that I'm used to in tomatoes from the Southland. Still I make myself as happy as I can with them and especially appreciate their availability until late September.

And as reluctant as I am to insult any Dutch who may be lurking, you folks grow the worst tomatoes on the planet. I like Holland. It's a fun place to visit - interesting and pretty and clean. And I like the Dutch people. Every Dutch person I've ever come across, with the exception of one asshole flight attendant, was exceedingly nice and friendly. I am half in love with Roy Makaay and I think Ruud van Nistelrooy is hot. But God help you people, whatever gave you folks the idea that those hard, red, mealy, flavorless spheres you grow are tomatoes? While in Amsterdam the last time I ate a tomato salad. It literally had no flavor. In fact it sucked the flavor out of the dressing. I've never eaten anything to flavor neutral in my life. I was marveling at how awfully nothing it was until I reminded myself that I was in Holland and I must have been out of my mind to eat a tomato in Holland.

I say all this because I am seriously jonesing for a Mississippi tomato sandwich. I want a chilled tomato grown in the warm soil of northeast Mississippi that has had the benefit of Miracle Grow, hot summer sunshine and late afternoon thundershowers. I want to slice it and appreciate its firm flesh and the succulant juice. I want to smear a soft slice of bread with Hellmann's mayonnaise, layer the slices that cunningly fit the dimensions of the bread and sprinkle each slice with a shake of salt and pepper before adding the next and then topping it with another Hellmann's crowned slice of bread. And then I want to stand at the sink to eat it because everyone knows that a perfect tomato sandwich really should be eaten while standing over the kitchen sink. That juice, turned to a milky pink by the Hellmann's, is simply going to run all over and a really fabulous tomato sandwich made with a really fabulous tomato will require you to wash your arms afterwards. Wash down with the cold beverage of your choice.

Bless you Europeans, you just don't know what you're missing.


Blogger Poppymom said...

What do you expect from people who thought tomatoes were poisonous for many centuries?

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmmm, i may just drive to mississippi for a tomato. think miss virginia'd go get some cornbread salad with me?

3:41 AM  
Blogger Miz said...

I don't even like tomatos and you make that sandwich sound so good.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy crap, dix, you made me need a tomato sandwich. like, i physically feel like i might die if i don't get one rightnowthissecond.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't ever bother with store bought maters here unless the are cherry tomatoes (and those aren't that bad). some folks try and grow their own around here, but i won't get to try any until next weekend.

at my last job, someone had thrown a tomato slice from their sammich out on the fire escape or something and it had taken root. all summer long, it produced big green tomatos that never ripened since they were on the north side of the building. it was surreal, just growing there in this gravel pit on a fire escape in london.

i picked the green tomatoes and fried those suckers. and i'd do it again, too!

1:52 PM  
Blogger BranV said...

Mmmmm...oh god.

Just picturing the glory days of summer where a standard meal side item as a kid, were big honkin' slices of tomatos, well salted.


7:57 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Oh yeah. When I lived in the States, all summertime meals included sliced tomatoes. The daily message that told me that supper was nearly ready was my mother's call to me to "Get in here, get that table set, get ice in them glasses and get them tomatoes sliced.".

I've toyed with the idea of growing tomatoes on my balcony in a big pot but I don't get enough sunshine there to really grow them well. I think.

'Course I could try it - what do I have to lose?

10:24 PM  
Blogger BarefootCajun said...

One of the programmers at work has been bringing homegrown tomatoes from his garden on a daily basis because he and his wife can't eat them all. It has been heavenly, I tell you.

Your story made me remember my grandmother's table where there was always a fresh plate of homegrown, sliced tomatoes just waiting for us to put them on our plates and throw a little salt on them. Mmmmmmmmm...nothing like it.

Dix, will they let tomatoes through customs? I'd send you some if'n they did.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Hon, you not only can't send me tomatoes in the mail, you can't even send tomato seeds in the mail!

6:57 PM  
Blogger BranV said...

Now is it all the south, or just this schizophrenic "what region are we really considered" state I live in that always had, not just tomatoes, but dish of green onions on every proper table?

9:10 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

We had it too. A plate of tomatoes, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices and green onions.

3:25 AM  

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