I love food. For me, eating is more than filling an empty space in my torso; it’s a transcendental event. A well-prepared and interesting dish can be a sensuous gastronomical experience. If accompanied by a mellow and buttery wine and topped with a decadent dessert, the effect can be orgasmic. The only thing that can eclipse a great meal is, well, great sex, maybe?
My husband refers to really good food as “teeth tingling.” He also hums and moans when he’s eating something delectably out of this world, but that’s another story all together.
I cook quite well, if I do say so myself. Since both of us love food, we tend to eat things that have been determined by one source or another as being “bad” for us. The sources can be medical or they can be pharmaceutical, but no matter where it came from, the news is always bad. My reasoning for bucking popular warnings is that if I were going to die anyway, I’d rather do it with a plate of osso buco instead of a Big Mac.
Earlier this week word came that part of the nation’s tomato crop is tainted. People are getting sick from salmonella-laden tomatoes. It's not just regional; it's all over the place. Rogue tomatoes are being pulled from store shelves by nervous green grocers.
The attack of the killer tomatoes has caused several restaurants to pull the condimental fruit from their menus. I guess it is okay for Burger King to try and kill us with trans fats and cholesterol clogging sauces – but not with wayward produce, whose only stain on society could most likely be eliminated by a careful washing.
I’m here to tell the world I am thumbing my nose at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the naysayers on the news. I’m going to continue to eat tomatoes! I love tomatoes too much to give them up, even temporarily. I can tell you I braved the onslaught of cantankerous, war-mongering spinach during last year’s spinach crisis and I lived to tell. Don’ worry; if given the opportunity for a Purple Heart, I shall respectfully decline.
The poisonous strawberry scare a few years back was mainly reserved for exported berries, but I would have thrown caution to the wind and consumed them as well. I’m bigger than fruits and vegetables no matter what kind of scary germs they may hide.
Call me crazy, call me a rebel, call me a fool with high-risk tendencies. My back yard garden is full of tomato plants, but it will be a full five weeks before anything ripens. In the meantime, I’m taking my chances. There’s no way I’m going give up my summertime favorite, Insalata Caprese, just because certain US tomato cells have turned terrorist on us.
We’re lucky. Here in southeastern Michigan, most of our store tomatoes come from Canadian greenhouses. God bless Canada; they are our clean and antiseptic ally. My suggestion for neutralizing any unidentified renegade tomatoes is to wash those babies down thoroughly before you slice them up and eat them!