All winter you think about the first vine ripe tomato, plucked from the vine, still warm from the sun.
One bite and you have a mouthful of sweet, juicy goodness. You forget about the no taste, red balls that the supermarkets have been selling.
While most people eat tomatoes all year, the taste is usually bland and the texture can be mealy. My husband and I used to live in Florida and would sometimes drive by the tomato fields in Homestead. Tomatoes were being picked rock hard green and hauled away in dump trucks. They are placed in cold storage until they are ready for packaging. They are then gassed to turn them red and shipped to your local supermarket.
When people in other parts of the country are pulling their spent plants, here in Maine tomatoes are just getting started. Some have ripened completely, others are a few days off, and a lot are still green on the vine. We will have tomatoes until the first frost which can be as early as sometime in September.
As much as I would like to keep all our tomatoes on the vine until fully ripened, it is impossible because of the ground hogs. We will enjoy the ripe ones now. The partially ripe ones will be wrapped in paper and placed in a box to finish ripening. A few that are a day or so from being ready will be placed on the windowsill in the kitchen.
We just enjoyed our first tomato, lettuce and bacon sandwich.
We will be eating cherry tomatoes popped right in the mouth; beefsteaks sliced, sprinkled with salt, pepper and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, pico de gallo or salsa, bruschetta, and tomato sauce. When the season is ending there will be fried green tomatoes, tomato chutney. Just remember to never refrigerate a tomato because it will hurt the flavor, nutrients and texture.
Since the season for tomatoes is so short, you never tire of eating them. I would love to know how you are using this seasons tomato of your dreams.