It’s summertime when a person’s fancy turns to thoughts of sun ripened fruits and vegetables. I’m not a huge fan of produce, but I do enjoy a fresh, homegrown tomato. The problem is that my body hates them. Do you remember that movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? It was really big as a video rental way back in the Stone Age when I was a kid. OK, I never saw it, but I’m thinking I need to remedy that situation since I am now plagued by those fruits pretending to be vegetables. I have this digestive issue when it comes to raw tomatoes, I try to avoid them whenever possible.
I’m not really skilled in a dietary high maintenance situation. I’m pretty laid back. I never ask for an item on a menu to be completely changed like Sally in When Harry Met Sally. I usually just pick something that stirs my culinary passions and go with it. Sadly, I now have to be that one person you all hate. You know them. They annoy the shit out of you with their questions about each and every course on the menu. “Can I have the chicken diced not shredded? Can I have brown rice not white? Can I have oil and vinegar instead of Cesar Dressing? Can I get alfredo sauce instead of marinara?”
Too many times I have ordered a sandwich only to have to throw it out because tomatoes mysteriously appeared on it even though the menu never warned me. It’s kind of like flavored iced tea. Back in the day, you could order iced tea with abandon. You knew you were getting unsweetened black tea. Now, iced tea comes laced with passion fruit, mango and various berries. So, I always ask, “Is it regular tea or flavored?” I hate having to ask, but worse is taking a sip of what you hope is delicious black pekoe tea only to be assaulted by some horrible fruit.
But, I was talking about raw tomatoes. They don’t assault my taste buds. They assault my lower GI tract, so you would think I’d be more militant about their presence in my food. My problem is that I trust restaurants and food vendors to list every item in their recipe, but most people don’t even notice tomatoes. They are becoming like iceberg lettuce. No one even pays attention to that leafy green vegetable on their plate. It’s more like garnish than sustenance. For most people, this is also true of tomatoes. Sadly for me, I cannot digest them without paying a disgusting price.
I’m not going to start a campaign to make everyone disclose when raw tomatoes are in the recipe of a dish. I’m just going to have to annoy whatever person might be taking my order. I apologize in advance to the service industry in Sacramento. I don’t want to annoy you. I just don’t want to have diarrhea.