Savor the flavor of a summertime tomato

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

Last night it wasn’t visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. It was tomatoes – ripe, red, juicy tomatoes. Tomatoes, fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun, are one of the best things about summertime.

Slice them up and add crispy bacon and lettuce, some toasted bread and the condiments of your choice. Or ditch the bacon and lettuce and simply slap together a tomato sandwich.

Frankly, you can forget the bread, just give me a knife and fork, a little salt and a glass of sweet tea and I am very, very happy.

Of course, pink-eyed purple-hull peas, butter beans, creamed corn and other good things from the garden all taste better with a few slices of tomato on the side.

Ideally, a summertime tomato should never come from the supermarket. I know the signs say, &uot;Vine Ripened,&uot; but the taste and texture say otherwise.

Those babies have traveled a long, long way from the vine on which they were birthed.

Summertime tomatoes should be from your own garden, or that of a generous friend or neighbor.

They should come from off the back of a well-used pickup truck driven by a weather-beaten fellow wearing overalls and a feed cap, who will also sell you a ripe watermelon and a mess of peas to take home and shell.

You have to savor that flavor while it lasts.

All too soon, we’ll be back to nothing but the cardboard-tasting variety to eat.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at