However, due to the sheer number of tomatoes I consume from Jacksonville, I may as well be a denizen of that town and Cherokee County if I were strictly gauged by the amount of lycopene in my system from the place.
Why the tomatoes from down there are the yummiest is no easier nor necessary to explain than why the onions from Noonday are so sweet and delicious.
What made me think of all of this? Well, the other night Elizabeth was making a beautiful salad for dinner with three or four different kinds of lettuce and some perfectly ripened tomatoes and avocado — all topped off with my favorite combination of salad dressings — first a thin coating of Green Goddess, which is then dusted off with a nod or two of Newman's balsamic vinaigrette. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
When time came to cut the tomatoes, I was reminded of my love affair with the fruit because I saw a few of my special tomato knives in the knife drawer (don't ask).
A tomato knife is a knife made to cut tomatoes, and that's it. Such specialty items can be found in better stores around the globe and not all tomato knives are created equally. For instance, at least two of my prized tomato knives are from London. Yes England.
It's my grandfather's fault. He trained me in the importance of owning something so specialized, much like the training Yoda gave young Luke Skywalker in the use of his lightsaber. I don't recall them slicing tomatoes with the lightsaber, but I'll bet it would have given a Ginsu knife a run for its money.
My grandfather and I each bought a handful for ourselves and friends and I'm pretty sure he bought some Lea & Perrins (the recipe is different over there) for the trip home.
To this day, it continues to give me joy to present a tomato to such a well-designed adversary for its eventual trip to my tummy.
Some members of my family (me particularly) like their tomatoes peeled, then sliced or diced. For such an exercise I own a small knife with a perfectly serrated edge and blade thickness to perform this exercise with a precision that renders the fruit skin-free but still substantially whole.
If I come home to a meal with peeled tomatoes I know my wife is either trying to tell me she loves me very dearly (she doesn't really see the need to go to this extra step so it is truly a labor of love, or it may even harken to my premise a few weeks ago on “Help me, help you, help me”) or wants something dearly enough to have gone to the trouble to peel the suckers.
There is only one person I can recall giving one of my prized knives to and she was a resident of Jacksonville. I feel certain she used it again and again.
I try to lecture in vain on the heresy this represents to all tomato knives and their real owners but alas it falls on deaf ears. The thought of a deadbolt on a knife drawer to protect the misuse of such cutlery seems, well, obsessive.
In the meantime, our window to enjoy this delicacy of a season is already short lived. Enjoy the rest of the season and viva tomatoes!