Despite it being the middle of November, the local supermarket currently has an extensive selection of tiny tomatoes. Customers can mix and match as we see fit, but they are horrifically expensive and to be honest, I’m rather tired of tiny tomatoes. (The plant in our garden is STILL bearing fruit!) However, while I consider myself something of an urban sophisticate, I realized much to my chagrin that I had never tasted a purple tomato. What if I were to run into, say, Brad Pitt and he asked me if I liked purple tomatoes and I wouldn’t be able to answer? This rankled.
At once, the curious kitten in me awoke, stretched and blinked her eyes. What might a purple tomato taste like? Grape Kool-Aid® (proudly produced by Kraft Foods since 1927)? A raspberry Popsicle® (accidentally invented by Frank Epperson in 1905)? An eggplant Pop-Tart® (Kellogg, 1964)? The mind boggles.
At the same time, there was something off-putting about the color; I have a bruise on my thigh about that shade. But still, I knew to the depth of my soul that I would toss and turn for nights on end and, if I were ever released into the sweet arms of sleep, my dreams would be haunted with angry killer tomato monsters chasing me down darkened alleys, leaving behind trails of purple-tinted tomato blood dotted with slippery seeds of Satan spawn.
I picked one up and held it in my palm. Then I tweaked off the stem and popped it into my mouth. It tasted like…wait for it…drum roll, please…
I was not disappointed; quite the contrary. There was once an Asian looking family in a supermarket in California, its members taking jars of things off the shelves, opening, tasting, wincing, and putting them back. Well, I can understand that. What if you tasted something that looked like tahini or miso but turned out to be Skippy® Super Chunk peanut butter (which is kosher and contains no cholesterol)?
Sometimes it is enough that things are what they are and are not trying to be anything else. If the eggplant Pop-Tart® scenario had played out, I could well have fainted right on the spot, then the tomato monsters would have gotten me for sure.
So now, if anyone asks, I can say I know what a purple tomato tastes like. I will sleep deeply tonight. And Brad, baby, bring it on. I’m ready for you.