I wish I could adequately express in words how much I loathe the tomato. Unfortunately, I have neither the vocabulary nor the space to properly convey how hideous and abhorrent these mistakes of nature actually are. However, for posterity’s sake, I will endeavor to point out their largest sins against existence.
Let’s start with their classification. Are tomatoes a vegetable or a fruit? As it turns out (scientifically speaking, at least), they are definitely a fruit. That is to say, a smart person knows that a tomato is a fruit. However, a wise person knows better than to put a tomato in a fruit salad. If you have to be both smart and wise in order to properly place the thing, it implies that the thing is not worth placing.
Moving on to growth: tomatoes, as it turns out, are ridiculously needy and hard to take care of as a plant. Headlines include but are not limited to:
- They are amazingly susceptible to a range of pests (aphids, flea beetles, tomato hornworm, whiteflies) and diseases (blossom-end rot, late blight, mosaic virus).
- If you’re starting a plant from seeds, it has to be grown indoors for 6-8 weeks before the last frost of the season before it can be moved outside. Good luck predicting the future!
- They need at least 6-8 hours of good sunlight every day, but in our southern climate, they benefit from light afternoon shade. It's a good thing we've got that automated patio shade!
- The soil they’re planted in should be slightly acidic, well-drained but able to hold moisture evenly, and rich in organic matter. Get out your litmus testing kit! I'm glad I learned all that chemistry in college just so I can take care of a stupid plant that I hate!
- If they grow too fast, their delicate skin will crack, rendering them even worse than terrible. So, you should do a good job taking care of them, including messing with the soil and even watering and just enough but not too much sunlight, but don't do TOO good a job because then they'll just explode on you.
I could go on, but hopefully you get the picture.
Now we get to the heart of the matter: consumption. The uncooked tomato is deceptively appealing, visually. You can’t help but wonder if you could take a big bite out of one, similar to the way you would an apple (a vastly superior fruit). Doing so will likely disturb you for the rest of your life, causing you no end of terrifying dreams and subsequent psychiatric bills. Hey, at least you won't have to deal with those spider nightmares anymore. Unless, of course, they morph into spiders with tomato abdomens! Fangs dripping poisonous tomato juice! GAH! Where's my phone?! I need an emergency counseling session!
The textural consumption experience is not unlike eating a grape (another vastly superior fruit). The skin of both is thin, with meat that has a pleasant firmness without requiring much work from either molar or canine teeth. That’s where the similarity ends, however, and you must deal with the fact that between the meaty parts of a tomato exist a slimy larval state that the tomato passes off as “juice and seeds.” Seriously, if you think earthworms are disgusting because they’re slimy, you should refrain from inspecting the inside of a tomato. It’s *just like worm guts*. More on earthworms and tomatoes later.
The taste of an uncooked tomato is indescribable. It’s as if Nature said “Hey, I’m done with the avocado and earthworms, but I’ve got some leftover guts and stuff. What should I do those? I know! I’ll create a fruichtable just to mess with people! Let’s see how many of them actually try to eat the thing!” That’s right — you heard it here first: the tomato is that happened with Mother Nature mated an earthworm and an avocado.
That’s not to say that there’s nothing redeeming about the tomato. I happen to quite like ketchup/catsup, tomato sauces with pasta and pizza, and throwing rotten tomatoes at bad comedians. Beyond those uses, however, I’m not sure why you would bother with this travesty of growth.
Do yourself a favor, hard-working farmer: plant tomatoes if you so desire, but don’t treat them any better than your other plants. In fact, neglect them a little. Perhaps we can natural-select them into a heartier and better-tasting fruit. Otherwise, make better use of the space you would normally put a tomato plant in, and plant a DQ-Blizzard bush.