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  #1  
Old 06/20/06, 08:30 PM
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Tomatoes donít taste like tomatoes

Tomatoes just don’t taste as good as the used to, do they? The taste isn’t near as distinct and strong. Right?

Varieties have changed, of course, and the “plastic” tomatoes sold in most grocery stores are breeds developed for durability, appearance and marketability, not for taste. But even the tomatoes grown in our own garden don’t have the taste we remember – even when we grow some of the old breeds.

Have even the traditional tomatoes changed? Or, is there another explanation?

Here’s a thought. Doesn’t everything taste a bit bland (or less distinct and powerful) compared to how it used to taste? As a kid I can remember the poignant taste of vegetables, the bitterness of some fruits, the “take your breath away” effect of horseradish, the impossibility of eating hot peppers. Now none of those are near so sharp in taste and I can chomp contentedly on jalapeno peppers.

I remember my grandfather saying, “Things just don’t taste like they used to”, and that was before the days of plastic grocery store produce. Now I am probably about the age he was then and I say, “Things just don’t taste like they used to”.

Does anyone else notice the same thing?

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  #2  
Old 06/20/06, 08:39 PM
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Yup, You're getting older....LOL

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  #3  
Old 06/20/06, 08:41 PM
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Interesting article:

Quote:
Once Again, the Killer Tomato



People joke about the deplorable quality of produce and say "tomatoes don't taste like they used to," but few realize fully the torture that modern agribusiness inflicts on standard food plants. Peter Bahouth, former director of Greenpeace, was eating a salad one day in Toronto and became curious about the tomato's origin. His research resulted in an article called "Attack of the Killer Tomato," which appeared in the 1994 Seeds of Change Catalog and was excerpted in Vegetarian Voice (Vol. 20, No. 3).

The tomato, Bahouth discovered, was grown on Mexican land that had once been publicly owned "ejidos," or small collective farms worked by local farmers. It was now controlled by a partnership of the Jolly Green Giant Company and the Mexican Development Corp. The killer tomato was grown from a hybrid seed developed from a Mexican strain at U.S. taxpayer expense by the University of California, then sold to Calgene, Inc., which obtained a patent.

The land was "prepared" by fumigation with methylbromide, said to be an ozone depleter 120 times more potent than CFC-111, then treated with Monsanto pesticides by $2.50-per-day unprotected Mexican farm workers. Production waste was shipped to the world's largest hazardous waste landfill in Emelle, Alabama.

After harvest, the tomato was wrapped in plastic, placed in a plastic tray, and put in a cardboard box. Citizens of Point Comfort, Texas get the brunt of the health problems from making the plastic, while 300-year-old trees in British Columbia and Great Lakes area residents downstream from pulp mills take the hit for the boxes.

The tasteless tomato, once boxed, was reddened by ether and shipped to Canada in CFC-refrigerated trucks at great expenditure of energy. In Toronto, the plastic was discarded and shipped to Detroit for incineration. The amount of fuel used for the entire process is staggering. Behouth concludes:

The Toronto tomato probably cost 50 cents, but we can see that if we really look at the true economics of an everyday item like a tomato we are not folding in the social costs of this type of production. That's what is really driving this type of economic system. You realize that having your own garden and growing your own tomatoes can be a very subversive and radical act. And it makes the fruit taste that much sweeter.



The Gazette challenges you do do something radical. Grow a tomato!
http://www.purewatergazette.net/secret.htm

and this also:

Quote:
Everyone's tastes are different. In fact, your tastes will change as you get older. When you were a baby, you had taste buds, not only on your tongue, but on the sides and roof of your mouth. This means you were very sensitive to different foods. As you grew, the taste buds began to disappear from the sides and roof of your mouth, leaving taste buds mostly on your tongue. As you get older, your taste buds will become even less sensitive, so you will be more likely to eat foods that you thought were too strong as a child.
http://library.thinkquest.org/3750/taste/taste.html
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  #4  
Old 06/20/06, 08:44 PM
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Obser - You don't smoke cigarettes, do you?? I'm thinking that maybe your taste buds might be deadened.
I love mater sandwiches and I haven't noticed a flavor difference myself...A couple of pieces of oat nut bread, a couple of very red vine-ripened tomato slices about 1/2" think, some Hellman's mayo, fresh ground salt and pepper. Man, I can make myself sick.

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  #5  
Old 06/20/06, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash
Obser - You don't smoke cigarettes, do you?? I'm thinking that maybe your taste buds might be deadened.
I love mater sandwiches and I haven't noticed a flavor difference myself...A couple of pieces of oat nut bread, a couple of very red vine-ripened tomato slices about 1/2" think, some Hellman's mayo, fresh ground salt and pepper. Man, I can make myself sick.
Stop, we don't have any ripe (or hardly developed yet) around here... stop this madness immediately.
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  #6  
Old 06/20/06, 08:54 PM
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Beststash, I don't smoke cigarettes but am a reformed pipe smoker who still smokes a few little cigars (gotta quit that too).

I love those mater sandwiches too -- but add a nice thick slice of onion. I don't care what kind of bread it is because that's just to hold the other stuff without getting mayo all over the self (most of the time). It pays to stay near the plate. Great summer fare.

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  #7  
Old 06/20/06, 08:56 PM
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We have some "Ulster" (They undoubtably have a real variety name) tomatoes from Ireland, and while not big are open pollinated and produce a nice 1.5 inch to 2 inch round tomato with lots of flavour!

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  #8  
Old 06/20/06, 09:05 PM
 
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The tomatoes in stores were often picked green and ripened sitting in the warehouse. They need to ripen on the vine to taste the best.

If you happen to visit oregon I can sell you some real tomatoes.

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  #9  
Old 06/20/06, 09:24 PM
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Store food, YUK!
I have some broccli that will knock you over!

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  #10  
Old 06/20/06, 09:26 PM
 
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Try the heirloom varities Obser, MUCH better.

In fact, it's not safe to process modern varieties of tomatoes in a boiling water bath anymore unless you add acid. The heirloom varieties don't have that problem.

Glad you and the Mrs made it there safely!

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  #11  
Old 06/20/06, 09:33 PM
 
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So many people (that buy produce in the supermarket) don't stop and think; why are the tomatoes all the same size, the same shape and all perfectly red in color?? They are picked green and in the semi truck that delivers them, right before they are delivered they are 'gased' in the truck. This ripens them rapidly. yuck!!!

I planted mostly Roma tomatoes, my gosh on just 4 plants(of the Romas) we have tomatoes running out our ears!! They are very meaty( not large). *ZEAL* sound good? LOL

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  #12  
Old 06/20/06, 09:39 PM
 
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Most of the foods that are purchased in groc. stores are picked green and sprayed with something (sr. moment), to make the turn red... I ahve heard some people say the tomatoes were 'gassed'..

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  #13  
Old 06/20/06, 10:30 PM
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I refuse to buy grocery store tomatoes. Period. I'll sometimes buy canned tomato sauces, but I am trying to cut way down on that. The only whole tomatoes that we eat are home grown or bought from local growers and home canned.

RE the smoking -- I quit 2 1/2 years ago and I cannot believe how much more sensitive my nose and tastebuds have become!

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  #14  
Old 06/21/06, 05:31 AM
 
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Let me know if you ever find a plum that has *any* taste. I've been looking for one for years. Sigh.

I've found the changes made in the varieties to be the biggest problem. For there it affects me in the garden. For example, we've got some strawberry plants that are fantastic. Hearty as all get out and scads of the most luscious fruits you ever did see. But you bite into one, and there's just no taste.

Can't fuss about all the plants though. The newer varieties of apples sure do taste good.

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  #15  
Old 06/21/06, 06:11 AM
 
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Just picked one last night for dinner!! Fantastic aroma and flavor but the skin was really tough! Don't think it was an open pollinated though.

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  #16  
Old 06/21/06, 07:42 AM
 
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I am waiting (not so patiently) for my first homegrown tomato sandwich of the season.......yummy!!

We have a Mennonite family here who grows hydroponic (sp) tomatoes in the winter and they have a pretty good flavor but for a tomato sandwich you've got to wait until summer and pick one fresh from your own garden-

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  #17  
Old 06/21/06, 07:55 AM
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Oh, man... this is torture... Tempting Tantalizing Tomato Torture...

If you want a paste tomato with some real flavor, try Rosalie's Large Paste. Oh, my, oh, my!!!

http://underwoodgardens.com/catalog/...roducts_id/989

As for things not tasting the way they used to, yeah, I've noticed that. I think it's a combination of aging tastebuds, chemicals in the environment, and (for me) being too busy to STOP and TASTE things. Sometimes, I bolt down food and only stop eating because the food is gone. "Did I eat that?"

Talk about senior moments! Or being just too darned busy. Or both.

Pony!
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  #18  
Old 06/21/06, 08:03 AM
 
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The best tasting tomatoes I have ever grown are my early goliath tomatoes from my greenhouse this year. I incorporated a lot of chicken manure into the soil prior to planting and have only sprayed with a copper based fungicide weekly to stop blights and fungus. They have ab----ely been the best I have grown in more than 25 years of gardening.

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  #19  
Old 06/21/06, 09:41 AM
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Oh, my god. Stop. Torturing. Me.

I CANNOT WAIT for a fresh tomato sandwich.
Add a bit of basil and fresh mozarella cheese, and you have my second favorite sandwich in the world.

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  #20  
Old 06/21/06, 09:51 AM
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I had my first homegrown tomato BLT sandwhich last week. YUM!!!! The cherry toms have been producing like gangbusters, but I managed to beat the squirrel to one of my full size toms and I love the first BLT of the season.

Nikki

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