Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Tomatoes August 2, 2007

Filed under: General — Claire @ 12:07 am

Firstly, may I apologise for the radio silence on the site of late, and especially to all those of you who have commented without response. 

And secondly, by way of redressing the balance, I’d like to talk about tomatoes.

Up until my twenties, tomatoes were in my category of inedibles.  In all forms.  That included pizza, ketchup, bloody mary, the lot.  But then, as I think I’ve described, I developed a tolerance, and even a liking for ketchup on burgers.  These days, I actually choose to have ketchup on certain things.  And from that, I developed a tolerance, and even a liking for pizza.  Then later, when I learned to cope with pasta, I learned to cope with Dolmio and Ragu-type sauces (bits picked out of course).

In fact, if I haven’t had something tomato-based for a while, I find I start to crave it.

The other day, I found myself having to eat out at a new Italian restaurant nearby, because their pizza sauce is so tomatoey, I knew nothing else I could make myself would come close.  I thought about that for a minute, and so it dawned on me, that I live right by Portobello Market, with fresh fruit and veg sold daily.  What would be stopping me from buying some actual real tomatoes myself?

So I bought two tomatoes, took them home, and lovingly skinned them, the way we were taught in Home Economics at school, back in the days when they were a non-food.  You hold them over heat until the skin pops.  And then I cut them up small, taking care to remove all the pippy bit in the middle, and popped them in a blender, which I bought several years ago for just such a purpose, but haven’t had the courage for before. 

I have to say, I was rather disappointed with the result, which was good and runny, but smelled like the inside of a pumpkin, and didn’t taste much better.  It made the sides of my mouth want to get away from it, or get ready to gag.  So I phoned around a few people, and discovered that you have to cook the stuff.

I put a little olive oil in a pan, and poured in the tomato mush, together with a little salt and pepper and sugar and tomato puree, and two basil leaves (which I later fished out, of course), and let it all cook for a while.  After some time, it began to smell delicious, and to take on the texture of a lovely pizza sauce.

And so it was that I discovered a way to eat actual tomatoes.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to eat them fresh.  You know those little cherry tomatoes that people say are so delicious?  Maybe by the time I’m 40, who knows.

So I grant you, it’s rather a lot of effort to go to, but I’m putting it down as a success story.  I’ve tried it a few times since with variations (do NOT put oregano in it, whatever you do), and correspondingly varying degrees of success.

What I’m thinking though, is that it’s taken me 34 years to get to this point with one food item.  I’m a little bit daunted by the number of remaining food items outstanding.  It doesn’t feel like I’m going to have time in my lifetime really.  So it’s with a mixed feeling that I post this, but on the whole I think it’s a positive.

Has anyone else got any tips or tricks or success stories, I wonder?  I’d love to hear them.


12 Responses to “Tomatoes”

  1. I don’t hold out any hope for you to be able to tolerate fresh sliced tomatoes. Even at 40. I am 55 and I have never been able to tolerate them my whole life. I love them cooked and prepared in any dish but never fresh sliced.

  2. Claire Says:

    Hi Patsy
    I did once try a teensy piece of fresh tomato that came in salad that came with a meal. Feeling brave, I cut myself a tiny piece, less than 5mm small. It gave me quite a shock and a jolt to find it was so tasty. Texture’s a big issue though, so I suspect you are right.

  3. Max Says:

    I hated tomatoes until my 30’s…although I always loved ketchup and tomato soup. If you want to try fresh slices of tomatoes, try putting them in a grilled cheese sandwich…it’s awesome. Also, those little tomatoes taste completely different than regular tomatoes…much sweeter and not such a mushy texture. I love them! Plus, a good caprese salad (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar) is to die for!!

  4. disgruntled Says:

    I’m growing tomatoes this year. Maybe that will help, but I doubt it. Cooked yes (with the bits taken out), raw no.

    I have trained myself to eat some other vegetables though. I started in my 20s trying a new vegetable every so often and cooking it in the nicest possible way. Some I like and actively choose to eat now (spinach, asparagus, caramelised onions, peas) some I merely tolerate, some I still can’t stand. I think it’s a victory of sorts that people now don’t introduce me as someone who doesn’t eat any vegetables, but as someone who doesn’t eat any vegetables beginning with ‘C’.

  5. chris Says:

    why not oregano? Just don’t overdue it! What do you think goes into Italian tomatoe sauce?

  6. Jack Says:

    I’ve grown tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano, lettuce and the works. I love the backyard garden and enjoy seeing children chomping down corn on the cob dripping in butter and salt. However I’ve never tasted or eaten anything I’ve grown except the oregano. I’ve given up the garden as it caused too much annual conversation on my eating habits. I try to keep my afliction stealth but at 58 years of age too many people know me for too long.
    But I did love that garden….

  7. Rosemarie Says:

    I think this is a great achievement and I think you will have time to develop a wider range of foodstufffs you can eat as long as you keep at it. I suspect the rate at which you develop more tolerance will get up speed like a train and soon you will be speeding along. I do hope so.

  8. Rosemarie Says:

    Jack, your post made me feel very sad. I think you should get going with that garden again for your sake and for the chommping children’s sake and just direct any stupid comments to this site. Good luck

  9. Jack Says:

    Don’t be sad, maybe year I’ll get the garden going again. It is alot of work.
    The comments were not stupid, just people that couldn’t understand how I could not eat things that grew.
    I can’t blame them as I don’t understand myself.

  10. Moe Says:

    I never touched tomatoes (or anything red for that matter) untill my 40’s – I love salsa! But of course I make it myself so I know exactly what goes in it…
    I could never bite into a whole tomatoe – texture, seeds etc. And definetly no ketchup…or mustard, relish, mayo…
    I have even graduated to tomatoe sauce – my own!

  11. mariclaire Says:

    I have virtually never eaten a tomato, fresh or otherwise, and won’t touch anything that has ever had anything to do with a tomato (e.g. ketchup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, etc.) Just thinking about trying to eat any of these sets my teeth on edge and makes me a bit queasy. I did try one sip of tomato juice over 30 years ago and I gagged. Never again. Nor do I even have any interest in feeling differently.

  12. Jack Says:

    The varying comments on tomatoes is very interesting.
    As extreme picky as I’am, I can somehow manage tomato sauce,as long as its not chunky style. I love oregano. Unlike Moe, I can’t try salsa, but can handle reasonable amounts of ketchup. But then like Moe, I could never eat a whole tomato and other condiments, mustard, relish, mayo…

    I don’t know what to make of it, but it is nice to know there are others out there like me.

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