I am pleased to announce that "Battle Tomato" has concluded after a ten year struggle. You see, I never liked tomatoes. In fact, I found them gross — mealy and slimy and infused with that slightly tart/tangy irritating (and did I mention slimy?) taste. To my constant irritation, everyone else in the entire world seemed to love tomatoes, and I would find this noxious vegetable (fruit, whatever,) in sandwiches, salads, sauces. You name it, it was there, often hidden, waiting to spring its slimy trap on my tongue. "Hold the tomatoes" I'd say, in vain. It continued like this, for years.
Realizing the futility of my situation, in the early 1990's I undertook Battle Tomato — I decided I would learn to like tomatoes. I would retrain my palate until the idea of eating a raw tomato would trigger the mouth-watering juices beneath my tongue. I will spare you the details of the various skirmishes, of the flanking counter-attacks waged by nefarious cherry tomatoes and over-sized heirlooms, of the gagging and horror of this most difficult of battles. There is only one story to tell now:
Last Saturday I spent the afternoon cooking and drinking wine with friends. To prepare our bruschetta, we picked fresh tomatoes from the garden in the hostess' backyard. As I carried the little yellow cherry tomatoes back into the house, without a thought, I popped one in my mouth. I smiled as I tasted its sweet juice. Victory was mine.