On Wednesday, myself and a fellow “instructor” successfully convinced a group of 8 year olds that not only did they 1) like the taste of tomatoes but also 2) enjoyed the salad we created with them. Ah, victory is savory!
Then we sliced the baguette. “I want bread plain!”
Ah, Rookie mistake! Next time, just scoop the tomato salad on there, then present.
Compromise: 2 pieces with the “salad”, one piece plain. And here’s a fork, try not to dump your “salad” on the floor, please and thank you!
These kids bravely tasted green, yellow and red tomatoes. They loved the cherry and grape versions the best, and got a kick out of how some of them looked like “pumpkins”. Chopped up (with kiddo-safe knives!), and tossed with salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it was time to bust out the “green stuff”.
Three of our little students successfully identified fresh Basil by smell and taste. Cue shock. I’m not even sure I could have done that two years ago.
Nor would I have liberally eaten tomatoes.
Sadly, I had a strong aversion to this red juicy fruit. Give me ketchup (a Lot, please), salsa, marinara sauce, or tomato soup and I was one happy kid/teenager/young adult. Put tomatoes on my salad, sandwich or mixed into any dish, and I would politely decline. Or pass them to somebody else at the table.
Our relationship has evolved greatly in the last few years. Gradually I stopped picking out red chunks in my chili. Then I realized I enjoy a slice or two on a sandwich or pizza. Then I added them to my salads.
The other day, I cut and ate a slice. Plain. On its own.
That’s when I realized it was love.
What should you know about my summer-season juicy friend?
Tomatoes are a fruit, Not a vegetable
They contain a high amount of the carotenoid, Lycopene (giving them the Red color), which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases.
Tomatoes are high in Vitamins A & C, potassium and calcium.
They shouldn’t be refrigerated, as that stops the ripening process and decreases the flavor.
I’m not sure I could choose my “favorite” way to eat them, so instead, I’ll share with you this: “10 Things You Can Do With Tomatoes” by Women’s Health magazine.
Enjoy! And tell me, what’s your favorite tomato tale?