Friday, May 30, 2008

All Hail the First Tomato!

To be quite accurate, this Lemon Boy is NOT my first tomato of the season. It is the first tomato of the season to make it inside the back door. I've been eating currant tomatoes (labeled as yellow but growing red) straight off the vine for a week or two now.

I love the color, flavor, and texture of the Lemon Boys. They are an almost perfect globe of sunlight. They grow relatively pest and disease free, but please don't let them hear that and prove me wrong. Furiously knocking wood now.

Also ripe and ready to eaten was the first Black Krim. I was so excited to sink my teeth into it that I neglected to take its picture before slicing it open. It's shaped like a beefsteak and is darkly colored, although I wouldn't necessarily call it black.

Its interior color is also quite dark. Because the Black Krim was the first tomato I had not eaten before, it received the honor of being this season's official first tomato.

My first tomato ritual, while not as elaborate as Carol's, is nonetheless highly anticipated. I make pan tostado con tomate y aceite, a Spanish breakfast treat I first ate while in Madrid five years ago. My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend three months traveling in Europe, and Madrid was our first stop. While normally I don't like to eat the same thing twice, especially while traveling, I fell in love with the tostado at first bite and had one almost every morning we were in Spain.

The dish is simple: toasted bread rubbed with garlic, soaked with olive oil, covered with diced tomatoes and a bit of sea salt. In Spain the olive oil, and not the tomatoes, is the star of the dish.

For my Austin tostado, the homegrown tomatoes must make up for it not being eaten in Spain. I use a toasted baguette, although in Spain the bread is a tad wider, somewhere between a baguette and a pain franรงais. I also add lots more tomatoes than the Spanish version has.

Looking at this closeup, I now know why the Cottage Living folks wrote, "Sliced open it looks just a bit like raw meat!"

Luckily, the taste is much closer to heaven. And slightly cheaper than a plane ticket to Madrid.


  1. My mouth is watering! We've eaten some amazing Early Girls from Boggy Creek Farm this week and are ready for more. My first tomato experiment is not yielding anything but leaves so far, but at least they appear overall healthy to my inexperienced eye. I'll try to remain patient.

  2. Yes, all hail to your first tomato! It looks beautiful and I'm sure it and the Black Krim taste wonderful. My little tomato plants have only been in the ground for five days, so it will be mid-July before I'll get a tomato to ritualize and enjoy!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. I'm with Iris that is a mouth watering meal...I wouldn't have been able to resist taking a small bite out of it before I photographed it!


  4. You have some real tomatoes there, Vertie! We have some small fruit on our Black Krim and hope we'll be able to compare notes on its flavor one of these days. But for now we'll just enjoy the little Juliets.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  5. I had one Black Krim on the plant I grew from seed a few years ago, and it was deliciously smoky. Remembering that, and seeing your delicious breakfast, makes me hope that the plant I bought last week gives me more of the same!

  6. How did the Black Krim taste. I grew one in our cool, wet summer last year but we both thought the taste was rather bland--not at all the flavor we were expecting from the reviews. But then, I prefer a tart and citrus-y flavored tomato.

    We just have small fruit on all our plants...I think I planted them too late for Austin.

  7. Just lovely and mouth watering! My Black Krims were scrumptious.

  8. That looks wonderful! Our cream sausage tomato plant is full to bursting with fruit. The first one was amazing, mild and with the lowest acidity I have ever tasted in a tomato. Highly recommend this variety for those interested in something a little different.

  9. Vertie,
    I don't do the Twitter thing, but I do have a copy of the latest Edible Austin. Email me at if you want my copy.

  10. I just hope that these high temperatures don't mean the end of the tomatoes! The Black Krim flavor was wonderful, smoky like Blackswamp girl says, but I will definitely look into the cream sausage. What a name!

    Iris, thanks for the offer! If I don't find a copy soon, I'll take you up on it.