I just thought that you should know, I am wildly in love with tomatoes right now.
Last night for dinner, I ate large slices of tomatoes with cheese, bread and olives and a glass of wine. This morning after a long hot walk, I came back home and thought: yogurt with a peach? No thank-you. I want to eat another tomato.
So I did.
The thing about tomatoes is that when they are good, they are really, really good. And these tomatoes right now are incredible. While they might not be 100% perfect on the outside it’s worth looking past that for what’s on the inside. What’s on the inside is deeply red, fully ripened, slightly sweet tomato flesh.
Every time I slice into a tomato I am shocked to see that they are entirely red. I’ve lived for such a long time eating the semi-ripe, barely ripened, greenhouse tomatoes which prevail in the States that it’s difficult to imagine a tomato any other way.
Now don’t get me wrong. This is a lovely surprise.
Every time I cut into a tomato, I think about how lucky I am to be slicing such a perfect tomato in Bulgaria. Yes, when it comes to tomatoes, I am both melodramatic and sappy.
Yesterday I came across a collection of recipes for tomatoes on the NYT and I looked through the pictures and recipes hoping to find a treasure hoping to find the perfect new dish or spin on tomatoes but to no avail. I have no desire to turn my tomatoes into soup, to cook them in the oven, to make them in to jam or jelly or to make the “Summer Salad with Feta“–shopska salad anyone?!
No, I am quite content to eat my tomatoes by the slice. Maybe I’ll give them a dash of salt and pepper or if I am feeling adventurous top a slice with cheese but right now this is enough for me.
Oh and I have to say, to my great surprise and pleasure Billa is now carrying cottage cheese in the refrigerator section right after the eggs, ouzo and some prepackaged salads. It’s sandwiched in right next to the ricotta cheese.
This is extra delightful because I grew up eating tomatoes on cottage cheese in the summer months. The creamy slightly salty cottage cheese with a ripe tomato is divine. Growing up in a farm town in the West, I’d never heard of people eating a salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil but this is also a quick satisfying way to eat tomatoes in the summer. And in Bulgaria? Well, the easiest thing I can imagine is a sliced tomato topped with sirene cheese.
So I made a plate of all three combinations up. Then I ate it standing over the sink. I’m classy like that.
Now here’s the wild part. On top of being delicious, these tomatoes are inexpensive at less than 2 leva a kilo (or about a $1.50 for a kilogram and for the record 1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds).
I’ll conclude on this note, I used to think that Bulgarians were kind of nuts when they went on and on about their produce and how tasty both the cucumbers and tomatoes are. I mean come on they are good but they are just vegetables. Now, however with this post, I find myself joining their ranks. I too am extolling the greatness of Bulgarian tomatoes. It’s funny what a good tomato on a unbearably hot day will move you write.
And so because tomatoes can’t speak for themselves, I’ve written a 600 word post on the Bulgarian tomato and I can do this because I write a blog about my adventures in Bulgaria and these include such riveting posts on subjects such as the tomato!!