Dry, Shrivelled and Bewildered hmm that’s the finale to the tomato crop this year, as sung in my head by our neighbours anyway. The tomato canes have all been packed up, except these with their majestic vine vista onto the Corno Grande, though with the amount on the dry dusty floor I am guessing they’re not going anywhere soon. To my novice’s eye they still look bursting with flavour but they’re hardly juice busters, instead rather shrivelled, even the boars seemingly knowing to avoid them!
I’ve seen just one bubbling cauldron of tomatoes this year in the village, and that was a collective effort for the Ferragosto village social club picnic sugo. This is the first time in eight years I’ve witnessed my neighbours buying tomatoes, an unhappy role reversal as it’s normally me, with my terrace of dysfunctional flowers only, that has to run when the mobile veggie van honks its cheery return to Bascianella… I am not sure where he is buying them from… If it’s an arid 40ºC daily in Abruzzo I can’t imagine what it’s like further south in tomatoland. I guess those super-size tomato farms will be operating no matter what, and enjoying the profits from this long hard hot summer with their cans of tomatoes and jars of passata bottlers. I am just hoping that, for those like me for whom tomatoes are our sacred desert island “must have”, the price range won’t be too silly.
The best tomatoes so far this year…? some roasted cherry tomatoes with a handful of rock salt, rosemary and olive oil courtesy of a lunch at La Grande Querica squashed onto some crostoso (crusty bread) – bliss!