Thursday, May 31, 2007

Animal, Vegetable, Mystical

People love to debate whether a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit. Botanically it is a fruit, but government labeling allows us to call it a vegetable because, presumably, it goes into soup — and people don't eat fruit soups. Of course, the government would be wrong. I made a blueberry soup with buttermilk a couple of years ago that my dad thought was terrific.
And you certainly can't argue that tomatoes aren't sweet. The Sungolds I grew the year before last were like little candy balls.
So I don't insist on calling them vegetables.
But I'm not arguing that tomatoes are fruit.
See all that fur?
They are beasts.

27 comments:

Erin S. said...

blueberry soup, eh? sounds good. In the fall, I love apple-pumpkin soup. But back to tomatos--I wish your green thumb was transferable--I'm a tomato and herb killer.

Greg said...

You have toms on the vine this early? We just have green so far.

Liz said...

Aaack! That debate drives me nuts! For the record: squashes, cukes, eggplant, peppers: all fruits. Do with that what you will. ;)

Hey, I just planted my 'maters today. I've got a long way to go before I can harvest any little sweeties. A long, loooong way.

Dagny said...

I've gotta go with Liz. If it contains seeds, then it's a fruit. But try convincing kids of that.

Stacie said...

that is an awesome photo cookiecrumb!! I love it!! I think my hubby is one of those "super-tasters"... heard of them? you can give him a sweet 100 ripe and right off the vine, and he'll spit it out, crying about how it burns his mouth! Freak! But the man loves his ketchup...? Great photo!!

Anna Haight said...

I made a cold honeydew and white wine soup with blueberries floating around in it once, people loved it.

Kevin said...

CC,
Eat a good fried green tomato and you'll know tomatoes are fruit, vegetables just don't taste like that.

kudzu said...

Years and years ago I was invited to a special tomato lunch at Campton Place when Todd Humphies was chef. Every course centered around the fruit/vegetable/
mystery, including a beautiful little tart made with green tomatoes. I still have the menu somewhere and if I can find it in the Everst of my files I will copy it for you. That was way, way back before every winery and restaurant did seasonal veggie menus, quite daring at the time.

kudzu said...

PS I am hoping I have time this weekend to find a proper shade for the window of my writing room, where the sun's creeping glare makes computer use daunting -- and means I don't catch typos. Thanks for putting up with errors!

katiez said...

Yes, but what lovely wee beasties they are!
I have some little, tiny ones on my plants as well. If we ever get sunshine they may decide to grow ...sigh....

cookiecrumb said...

Erin: OK, you've just gone and rescued pumpkin soup for me! Apples! Thank you. So sorry you have a brown thumb.

Greg: It's the Sungold -- very prolific, very early, and dammit, it lasts until January!

Liz: It's different where you live. I'm actually a little late with my planting, although I'm told May is perfectly fine. Good luck with your babies. I'm doing cukes next. Peppers too.

Dagny: Ya schoolmarm! :D

Stacie: Aw, thanks. I'm interested in hubby's reaction to Sweet 100s. Do they burn because they're too sweet? (I'm making ketchup this year, BTW.)

Anna: Aackk! Sounds so beautiful. I'll have to play with that one; merci.

Kevin: Lacking a southern gene, I don't often sacrifice my green babies to the frying pan. I'll give it a try.

Kudzu: That meal sounds very special. If I'm lucky with tomatoes this summer, I'll be doing a tart.
PS: So rewarding to hear you are still "moving in," lo these many months later... We've been here a month, and I still don't have my bathroom shade up. Thank goodness for frosted glass...

cookiecrumb said...

Katie: No sunshine? Yikes!! I send you warming rays of hope.

Holler said...

Bluberry soup with buttermilk sounds great, could I have the recipe please? I don't mind if it is not measurements, just the general gist of it would be fab! Thanks!
(tinnedtomatoes@googlemail.com)

My tomato plant is still just a stalk, no sign of fruit yet! The cherry tomatoes I grew last year were a bit tasteless, so I have plumped for Gardener's Delight this year which are real flavourful! I am also growing jalepenos this year for the first time. Crossed fingers!

cookiecrumb said...

Holler: I can't recall exactly what I did, but I found a recipe on the Internet that is close enough...
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1827,156189-244200,00.html
Just substitute buttermilk for yogurt -- or make it exactly the way it says.

Sam said...

i am surprised my mum hasnt popped by to tell you about strawberry soup, although what would be funnier still would be to hear my ex boyfriend doing an impression of my mum talking about the strawberry soup. Thank goodness he's my ex.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: Oh, come on. Let's have it. You can do it. (Or is it all about accents?)
PS: Fatted Calf with Guy tomorrow, 8:30 -- love to see you.

shuna fish lydon said...

I've made tomato SORBET!

Which means a tomato is a fruit. Although I've also made rhubarb consomme and rhubarb is not a fruit.

yer always startin' truble.

cookiecrumb said...

Shuna: No, YOU are! I want those recipes.
xxx

Sarah said...

Nutritionally tomatoes are vegetables, biologically, they are fruit, gastronomically, well, that's up to you...
Over here in Korea, tomatoes definitely fall to the fruit end of the spectrum, with cherry tomatoes appearing on top of cakes next to strawberries and melon. They also make a great smoothie with melon.

Urban Vegan said...

A tomato by any other name would taste as good.

Lannae said...

Wow, is that your tomato plant? NICE! Congratulations on a beautiful plant and photo! I have no sun, and no tomatoes. BUT, I got sources!

cookiecrumb said...

Sarah: That's just remarkable. I'm a little dumbfounded because we just don't treat them like fruit in the US. Thanks for the eye-opener.

UV: And don't take mine away!

Lannae: That is indeed my cherry tomato plant. I have three others, and I think I'll buy two more tomorrow. I finally have sun and space for growing, yay.

ChrisB said...

Blueberry soup sound interesting. We chose strawberry soup at Beccy's wedding reception- not everyone liked it but I did.

cookiecrumb said...

ChrisB: Aw, dammit. If I didn't already have so much food in the house already, I'd get some strawberries. Sounds good.

Sam said...

see - I knew she'd come by and tell you about the strawberry soup - didn't I warn you??? She didnt read my comment, obviously. Today was a rare day when I didn't go to the market because I went to cooking school instead. So I am sorry I missed you all :(

By the way the impression was to do with the accent but also a bit of story. Well, remind me and I will tell you the story when I next see you.

Holler said...

Thanks for the recipe cookiecrumb!
I will probably try it with yoghurt, as I can't always get hold of buttermilk! I have saved the recipe and will let you know how I get on!

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: You called it! (Oh, the trouble it gives me, juggling the three of you.)
xx