Tomato Time

An Ode to the Cherry Tomato

For some, the fall harvest can be a burden. What to do with it all?
Not so for me. My husband loves homegrown cherry tomatoes so much that he waxes poetical about them.
Now that they are at their peak, it’s a good time to share his thoughts.

Carla’s Cherry Tomatoes

‘Tis the season.

Pick ’em.

Wash ’em.

Pop ’em.

Bite ’em.

Tomato guts burst and flow through your mouth. This little surge drives the popularity of cherry tomatoes. And when the fruit is fresh off the vine, the juice warm with sunlight, the taste is particularly succulent.

A couple times each week, Carla’s crop finds its way to the kitchen sink, but rarely survives to the refrigerator. I prefer cherry tomatoes when they’re fresh, full to bursting, when they want to be eaten. Once refrigerated, or otherwise preserved, tomatoes lose their memory of the outdoors and become produce. Carla’s tomatoes are not produce; they come straight from nature to the mouth.

Carla babies her tomatoes and nurses them along in four large Corinthian pots on the back porch. Day-by-day, week-by-week, we watch the fruit growing and ripening, building the courage to be ingested. Then pick, wash, pop, and bite. Three vacation days and a drizzling rain for countless little spheres of fruitabulous delight.

by Cary Utterberg
reprinted by permission of the author