Around this time of year, you might bite into a perfectly good sandwich only to encounter something cold and mealy; by turns rock-hard and squishy; somehow both completely tasteless and disgusting. Yes, it’s a winter tomato spreading its mushy pink guts all over your lunch.
Why do chefs continue to put tomatoes on everything, even when the fruits are sad mutants of juicy summer tomatoes? Artificially ripened with ethylene in some godforsaken warehouse, the tomatoes arrive at the grocery store looking harmless–some are even red on the outside! But on the inside they are a granular, starchy mess.
Maybe we eat winter tomatoes out of habit–it’s a sandwich, it’s got to have slices of tomato. A recent meal of the oyster-and-shrimp po’ boy at the new Cheeky Sandwiches was marred only by a few slices of a mushy tomato. We picked them out, and thoroughly enjoyed the po’ boy. So yes, you can always remove winter tomatoes from your plate. But why give them a chance to wiggle their way into your mouth? No tomatoes till summer! (To the tune of No Sleep Till Brooklyn.)