Friday, July 11, 2008

Dite il pomodoro ... Detto il pomodoro*

Roma equals Tomato
Yesterday's page from the Italian Notebook was all about my favorite food of all time - tomatoes.

Yes I love tomatoes more than I do potatoes... what is it with those "-toes" words? There's nothing as wonderful as a fresh tomato tasting of sunshine and the earth - all it needs is a sprinkling of salt or maybe at the most a light bathing of balsamic vinegar. Not one of those woody-cotton-bally things that's travelled half-way around the world in cold storage but one fresh from a local farm much like what's showing up in markets around Rome at the moment. According to GB at IN he counted 19 different types in his local market yesterday and I saw 6 or 7 in our market on Via Libia. Wikapedia lists at the least 70 different varieties, but even they admit that their compilation is incomplete.

And tomatoes are just the start at this time of year. My friend Larry over at Amoroma (that Roma sign at the top is from one of his postings) and I arrived in Roma and started writing about our lives here at roughly the same time. And one of the first things that we both noticed was the variety and the seasonality of things in the market. In April it was artichokes, May and June there were sweet dark cherries and plumb green figs and from now until October its tomatoes!!!!!

Larry's perspective on Rome is different from mine - his partner Vin is Italian and they live in an neighbourhood not often frequented by non-locals. As a result he - and his digital - often catches things that most straneri (outsiders - that would be me) miss. Recently he let us share in a few of the festivities that make their neighbourhood of Garbatella so enchanting. And he also shares his "bird walks," the trips he and Vin take around Italy as well as school outings and just random strolls around town. And last December he created a wonderful on-line Advent Calender that each day revealed another window of Rome. As early as February he was gathering windows for this year's edition.

He and Vin have just come back from a few weeks in Umbria and, I'm so envious, will be heading down to Sicily in the next week or so. Larry shared their Christmas there with us and I'm looking forward to his posts as they tour around the island. Buona vacanza ragazzi!

Meanwhile at lunch I'm heading over to the market near the office to pick up a few tomatoes and a hunk of mozzarella for lunch.

* You say tomahto and I say tomatto - oh let's call the whole thing off, some things just don't translate!

11 luglio - San Benedetto Abate


AMOROMA said...

I also enjoyed the tomato posting in the Italian Notebook! I want to head back to the Testaccio market and admire the many many varieties of that red fruit for sale there.

Fruit or vegetable:

evilganome said...

Tomatoes on whole grain bread, with mayo, salt and fresh cracked pepper. The food of the gods!

Or (I'm not kidding about this) Tomato and peanut butter sandwiches. But it has to be Teddy or some other brand that contains only peanuts and salt. Forget Skippy! You'll just have to take my word for it.

sageweb said...

Ha, I eat tomatoes like candy. Try sprinkling sugar on one. Yummy. When I was young I would eat so many tomatoes I would break out in a rash.

danny/ink2metal said...

i want a fresh caprese salad now!

and a life abroad would be nice as well. ;-}

Willym said...

Larry: So when we going? Oh wait a minute I have work - you're a school teacher you don't!

EG: On this one I'll take your word for it - Peanut butter is my favorite man-made treat - well you know what I mean - maybe I'll give it a try.. hmmm maybe not!

Sage: One time in the Aix-en-Provence I bought a basket of tomatoes - ate so many that that night at the opera my feet broke out in hives. And I was wearing tight, pattened leather dress shoes... the soprano was not the only one hitting high notes that night!

Danny: I'll keep that in mind for when you're over in August.

Doralong said...

I live for tomato season! The wild blackberries are coming in and the kids are all excited- me I just go stare at my tomatoes, willing them to hurry up an finish growing already!!