I TELL MYSELF TO BE PATIENT. That it’s a waiting game. I wait all year for that first taste of the perfect homegrown tomato. And when it happens, it’s sheer ecstasy.
But I always get impatient. In June I see those perfect-looking red tomatoes in the grocery stores and on the farmers’ market stands. I have to remind myself, THESE ARE THE IMPOSTERS. I am looking at hydroponic tomatoes (grown in sand, gravel or liquid) or hothouse tomatoes (from temperature-controlled buildings for rearing plants out of season), and they just don’t measure up. They don’t even come close.
There’s a certain JE NE SAIS QUOI about a tomato grown outdoors in real Nebraska soil and kissed by a Nebraska sun. The vintners call these conditions terroir (the complete natural environment of soil, topography, and climate).
The product of such is a tomato with flesh that is firm and fresh. And it’s absolutely bursting with flavor. ONE BITE OF A NEBRASKA TOMATO IN AUGUST WILL ABSOLUTELY DROP YOU TO YOUR KNEES.