I didn’t grow up liking fresh tomatoes. In fact, for most of my life, I avoided tomatoes as tasteless and of a texture I didn’t like. And even when farmers’ markets began sprouting up all over New Jersey, I took a pass on the tomatoes.
Then on the trip south to deliver our first born to college, we left a few days early to check out the mountains of the Carolinas, where my husband envisioned retiring. (That would be before I convinced him that we needed to go to Austin.) We found a bed and breakfast that was straight out of a Tennessee Williams story, and I called for reservations. When I told the owner where we were coming from, he said, “New Jersey? I’ll give you a discount if you’ll bring me a cooler of Jersey tomatoes.”
That’s when I began to suspect there was something special about them.