food humorfood humor Eat, Drink and Really Be Merry
You Say Tomato And I Say…Tomahto
by Marjorie Dorfman

Page 2

But where would I start? Among the Beefsteak alone I have encountered more than fifty varieties. Consider Boondocks, a pink-purple number with a flavor so sweet and delicious that some people make wine with them. Then there’s Goliath; an heirloom variety grown since the late 1800’s which grows up to 3 pounds. Let’s not omit Mortgage Lifter, an old pink variety which folklore claims was named by a man who sold this crop to pay off a farm he was about to lose. There’s also the Dinner Plate beefsteak, which is heart-shaped, and so large that one slice can fill a dinner plate. Let’s not forget the Watermelon beefsteak whose very large shape is oblong and reminiscent of, well, take a guess.

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Many of the heirloom varieties have a history that dates back to the early years of our country. There’s even one called The Abraham Lincoln, which is a remarkably smooth and mild tasting variety that is dark red, meaty and solid. It’s excellent for juice, catsup and slicing. (There is no John Wilkes Booth tomato, fortunately. Sic Semper tomatus!) There are also myriads of novelty tomatoes. Consider Banana Legs with its four inch yellow, pointed banana shaped fruits and the Sausage Tomato which grows up to six inches long and looks like a huge red banana pepper. Its fine flavor is used for catsup and sauces. And there are literally hundreds of others.

I have saved the best for last, but not because of its taste. Truthfully, I do not know how the Monica Lewinski tomato tastes, but I guess it doesn’t matter. This tomato was named after a Russian lady from the last century! A recent show about farm life versus city life on National Public Radio is my source, even though the information probably should have come from the files of Ripley’s "Believe It Or Not". Whether or not this red-hot little number ever had sex with our former president is anyone’s guess. Maybe it was just part of that famous stain on that famous dress. (If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. It connects New York City with Staten Island.)

In any case, the tomato, Russian or otherwise, needs no resumé or recommendation. It has already proved itself to be worthy of complementing almost any dish, time and time again. I’d like to be the first to shake its hand, that is, if I weren’t too busy slicing it up and sliding it down my gullet!

Did you know . . .

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Check this review by Marjorie of an interesting kitchen gadget:

The Sharpest Knife in Town!
Wusthof-Trident Knives

food humor"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."
Lin Yutang
The Importance of Living, 1937

"Talk of Joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread
. . . there may be."

David Grayson
Adventures in Contentment, 1907

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