Of tasteless tomatoes and 20-somethings - The Packer

Of tasteless tomatoes and 20-somethings

07/26/2013 09:40:00 AM
Fred Wilkinson

Fred Wilkinson, Managing EditorFred Wilkinson, Managing EditorSome items in the produce aisle — though strong enough sellers — don’t win a lot of respect.

Case in point: iceberg lettuce — derided as the polyester of greens, lacking in flavor and vitamins compared to other lettuce and leaf products.

Another item that frequently finds itself profiled as lacking in tastiness is “store-bought tomatoes.”

True confession: I’ve talked trash about them myself at times.

But considering all the new varieties and improved production methods in the tomato category over the years, it’s kind of a bum rap.

Yet established attitudes can be difficult to dispel.

While these days I’m a fan of flavorful tomatoes — whether it’s a brandywine from the backyard or a Campari from the grocery store — truth is, were it not for foodservice-grade pink slicer tomatoes, I might never have acquired a taste for tomatoes.

Tasteless pink tomatoes were my gateway drug.

When I was a kid, tomatoes, well, pretty much scared me. The thought of eating one sickened me.

Fast forward a few years and I became a fan of Burger King’s Whopper — or Slopper, as my witty circle of friends and I dubbed them.

Among the Whopper’s toppings, of course, is a tomato slice, one unlike the juicy, red fruit my mom always seemed to have in her kitchen.

The Whopper’s pale and bland (yet firm) slices got me to overcome my aversion to tomatoes.

Pedestrian (some might says passe) items like those tomatoes and iceberg lettuce may seem like relics of mid-20th century America’s sometimes less-than-stellar culinary tradition, but I’d wager that millions of us consider them comfort food right up there with meatloaf.

Timeless advice

Much has been written over the years about generational differences in the workplace.

The current Millennial Generation (whatever that means) has found itself following in the footsteps of Generation X (this always struck me as a meaningless label) and the Baby Boomer generation and has found itself the subject of articles generalizing about how they will either revolutionize the way we work or are self-involved, socially awkward and will never cut it.

In the latter vein, a recent Forbes article titled “20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get” takes younger workers to task but offers some workplace and career advice applicable not just to workers of any age but also to managers — not to mention increasingly grizzled editors.

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Florida  |  July, 29, 2013 at 08:21 AM

I think people just don't understand how to let tomatoes ripen. A tomato can be picked when it is all green, and it will be delicious if you let it sit on the counter for a week or two. When I pick or purchase tomatoes to bring home, I choose them in assorted stages of ripeness so that they last for a week or two. The green-picked ones seem just as tasty as the ripe-picked ones as long as they are allowed to ripen before slicing.

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