AKA Green Bananas, Tough Romaine and Wintertime Tomatoes. I’ve been on a search for ripe bananas and it looks like it won’t be successful until sometime next week. The tomato situation stretches out much farther than that. Last week I was finally up to here with the cardboard-y tomatoes available this time of year and sprung for a $5 carton of Camparis. Luscious little balls of expensive goodness.
The romaine has been pretty bad except for what I get at Aldi. One of the cashiers told me they get it and several other produce items from Arizona. I don’t know if it’s the soil or what but it is crisp, tender, and sweet. Today, I made one of the best green smoothies with it and bananas that I’ve ever had. Delicious!
When DS1 and I were on our mission to find romaine last Friday, he would loudly proclaim that I wanted to get it at Aldi because it was cheaper. I don’t think driving that long and that far made it cheaper but more expensive. I just as loudly countered with it’s not because it’s cheaper. It’s because it’s better. I wish Aldi would build a store closer to me but I guess I’ll have to keep trying to find people who are going to be there or I’ll have to break down and go myself. At the moment, I still have two packages of romaine before I have to go back to the Tough Stuff.
I was watching an episode of “How’d That Get On My Plate?” with Sunny Anderson. It was about tomatoes and tomato products but it also included how new varieties come to be. Out of the hundreds developed every year, on a few make it to market. From what I could gather, the criteria was uniformity, thick meaty walls, good color and the ability to ship well. In other words, little stock is put in the texture and taste. No big surprise here.
Then it showed how the tomatoes are grown, picked and stored. You and I both know that the best tomatoes are vine ripened but that isn’t financially feasible. They are picked green green green but fully mature. Before they are sent to the supermarket, they are subjected to a dose of ethylene gas for a couple of days or so. That makes them appear to be ripe even though they aren’t. Sneaky, huh? The problem with the ones I’ve been getting is that it doesn’t help a bit to let them sit awhile before I eat them. Even that doesn’t work now.
The tomatoes destined for soup, sauce and paste are pulverized beyond recognition, anyway, so what’s the difference? They can use flavorings to doctor them up and pick a can, any can, and it will taste the same as any other. The magic of mass production with about as much nutrition as the can itself.
This winter I have had tomatoes that ranged from hard as an oak board to mealy as mush and everything in between. Not a good juicy one in the bunch except for the Camparis and the Cherry Berries (grape tomatoes) I’ve been getting at Wally World. For some unknown reason, they are quite affordable at $1.50 a pint but watch them go up since I said so.
I appreciate the chance to vent about the State of the Produce. I’d love to have one of those AeroGardens but I can buy a lot of grape tomatoes for what one would cost. It would be nice to have one for basil, too, but don’t get me started on that. I’ve tried to keep one of my basil plants alive but it’s all but bitten the dust.
Soapbox time is over. Meet me back here Saturday night for another wringing out of the week. CU!