“Give me back my tomatoes” or “say no to forced food”

10 Sep 2016

Southern Italian Cook and Blogger

 

What you are about to read will get the majority of God fearing Australians loathing me as I am about to disagree with that famous Aussie saying  “we have the best fruit and veg in the world, we are so lucky”. So here is a news flash. Yeah we have wonderful variety of fruit and veg to choose from in the lucky country, but the majority of our food taste like “meh” as the supermarkets are forcing food crops to be 365 days a year. 

 

I like my fruit and veg just as Mother Nature intended, to grow in the season she has chosen for them to be grown.  Forced food, which is a phrase I coined to describe fruit and veg that has been grown out of their natural season in artificial climates or dare I say genetically modified. Forcing food to be grown all year round exhausts Mother Nature. I am loathing at what has been done to the taste and quality of our fruit and veg, especially tomatoes.

 

I love a good tomato and cheese sandwich, and seriously who doesn’t? But what we have been given for tomatoes lately is poor substitute, and quite frankly they just taste like red mush.  I’m over it!  Give me back my tomatoes with that rich heady musky smell, and when you cut it open,  the smell of that plump flesh  will make you weak at your knees.

 

We are meant to enjoy tomatoes in the warmer seasons, and when purchased from a roadside shop, first pick of the season, it is like Christmas day for me, and I make a pig of myself on these red beauties.  Just as a side note Supermarket tomatoes are OK in the warmer months, but the crops have been bred to give the best round and red tomato, and have forsaken flavour for looks. Bit like the world we live in.  I love my tomatoes knobbly and wonky, with a look that only a mother could love.  My tip for picking tomatoes and other fruits, smell it. If it does not smell like the fruit, then it ain’t going to taste good either.

 

My first ceremonious pleasure for the season is to get an under ripe, bordering on green tomato and eat them like an apple with olive oil and salt on.  I have my Nonno to thank for that weird taste, but it is amazing. Give it a go.

 

My next pleasure is to get a juicy red tomato and squeeze it over friselle bread (double backed ciabatta until its dry) with olive oil, garlic, fresh chilli, salt and pepper, and oregano. The café latte set will know this as bruschetta, those in the know who had this most basic peasants dish every Sunday lunch in summer, know it as biscotto con pomodoro. 

 

Personally I am looking forward to February, at the end of Mother Natures tomato growing season, when all of the over ripe tomatoes are harvested, and all of the wog families get together and make pasata. Have to say, I am so excited about the renaissance all us 2nd generation wogs are going through, where we are embracing our heritage ritual days of making sauce and salami, and yes it is like the closing scene from Looking For Alibrandi .

 

Click on below scene to play.

 

I can’t wait to do this with my family and friends and do the twist dance whilst we bottle the pasata.

 

Until next time,

cucina felice.

Stefano

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