I was never fond of eating a raw tomato. Tomato in stews and sauces I always have enjoyed. But the texture of the raw tomato (slimy with the seeds inside) weirded me out. It must have been a holdover from my picky-eating days as a kid. I would rather chop them quickly so I could dump them in the pot.
(“Would you like lettuce, onion, pickle and tomato on your burger, sir?” the waitress usually asked. “Everything but the tomato. Thanks,” I replied.) I would pick them out of burgers and sandwiches.
I had been confident that this food dislike would persist forever. Even when I was beginning to eat salads, I would avoid the tomatoes.
A few Thursdays ago, lunch at the seminary was BLTs. I would immediately opt for a BL. But the tomatoes were chopped thin that day so they didn’t look so intimidating. I added it to my sandwich and bit into it.
The genius of the BLT struck me at that moment. The juiciness of the tomato went well with the salty bacon and crisp lettuce.
That cliché (everything goes well with bacon) shined in this matter.
I next experimented a salad with tomatoes. OK, so I had to cut up the tomato slices into tiny bits, but I ate the entire salad. But I was fully convinced at dinner with the priests at the Oblate retreat house in Milton. They offered a salad made with the last batch of tomatoes from the garden. They were delicious. (What have I been missing all my life? All those wasted years? Waaaaah!)
The raw tomato and I are now in good terms. My ever expansive palate has taken down one of my last picky-eating habits.
Now, only if I’m OK with eating avocado that is not in guacamole ….