I hate tomatoes; can’t stand them. I am not allergic to them, I don’t break out in spots when I touch one, I just simply don’t like them. As a child I resisted all attempts by well-intending parents to force them on me; and since then nothing has changed. I’ve even, on the basis that there are foods that I’ve grown into, from time-to time tested myself in adulthood with miniscule amounts of Solanum Lycopersicum; always with same enduring result. I am thoroughly consistent in my aversion. When this fruit of the deadly nightshade family sneaks hidden and unbidden in my food, I will gag. So why, in an era when bars of chocolate have wrappers that warn that their contents may have been within a half mile of a peanut, and bottles of water trumpet their faintest trace minerals, are tomatoes treated as if they are invisible? I am fed up of buying a sandwich and finding an unannounced tomato slice in it. If I’d wanted a ham, cheese AND tomato sandwich I would have sought one out. And when I order a dish in a restaurant, that is described as being with ‘a hint of this’ and coming with ‘a soupcon of that’, why does some well-meaning chef believe that I would be delighted to receive a gratuitous slice of tomato on the side? Somebody somewhere is clearly doing a very good job in inculcating the psyche of food purveyors that the love of the tomato is a universal truth. tomato-festival

I inquired of Mr Google as to who this someone could possibly be and discovered that a Tomato and Cucumber Marketing Board was set up in the UK in 1949 but that it shut up shop in 1963. Curiously its history turns out to be somewhat ‘chequered’. In 1958 there were calls for its suspension after the board was accused of voting irregularities at its AGM. Matters progressed from worse to worse such that the activities of the T & C Board led it to be in open conflict with the National Farmers Union; to such an extent that its activities came to be discussed in Parliament. On 31st November 1961 a heated adjournment debate of The House Of Commons ended with these words from Mr Charles Howell, the honourable member for Birmingham Perry Barr: “I hope that these differences between different sections of the industry will soon be resolved and that all concerned will work together. Surely that is not only the best road but the only road to the future.” In 1963 The Tomato and Cucumber Marketing Board was disbanded. But did it really go away? I am beginning to suspect not………….

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2 Responses to Rotten Tomatoes!

  1. Neil says:

    Hear hear! As a fellow lycopersicophobe I heartily endorse this rage against tomatoes that creep under the culinary radar. The traps are everywhere. Why all this fuss about horse when even the revolting residue of a sliced tomato removed from an unwittingly bought baguette is enough to make one retch?

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