Funky Foods

Today I’m premiering my new blogging format—Topical Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I’ll blog about different topic. Some suggested by readers, some thought of by me, some inspired by news articles. From the insightful to the ridiculous. The sky’s the limit. Have a suggestion? Give me a shout.

Today’s topic was suggested by Kaylee over at eHarlequin. She asks—Would you eat a tomato that isn’t red?

On first thought… Probably not.

I’m not what you would call an adventurous eater. Ask my husband. When we go out to eat, he always predicts what I’m going to order. Depending on the menu, it’s either a chicken or salmon dish. Unless they offer pork chops! I’m a bit more flexible with Italian and Chinese food, but not much. I still have my faves and I rarely stray.

I grew up in rural Indiana. I’m a meat and potatoes gal. When I was a kid, seafood meant fried fish sticks or Starkist canned tuna. I wasn’t even aware that people ate things like crab, lobster and oysters. Who knows? Maybe I’d like them if I tried them, but I can’t get past the ick factor. With crabs and lobsters, it’s that I see their shells, which makes me view them as living beings. Can’t go there. With oysters and clams, it’s the consistency. They look slimy. Double ick. For that same reason I don’t like the mushrooms they use in Chinese food. Plus those slimy mushrooms sort of look like mini dog penises. (Did I say that out loud?)

As far as vegetables, I grew up on corn, greens beans, peas, beets, and tomatoes. If not for my husband, I never would have tried asparagus or lima beans—which it turns out I love. He also turned me on to all sorts of leafy veggies like spinach, escarole, arugula . . . To think I used to only eat iceberg lettuce! Not to mention iceburg lettuce has practically zero nutritional value.

Anyway, back to tomatoes. I love tomatoes. Jersey tomatoes. Beefsteak tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes. Red tomatoes.

I think there are yellow tomatoes, though I’ve never had one. Green tomatoes are just immature tomatoes. I think. It never occurred to me to eat a tomato that wasn’t ripe. I’ve heard of Fried Green Tomatoes, but I always thought they sounded sort of gross. That said, last night I looked up a recipe…

(From Southern Food)
· 4 to 6 green tomatoes
· salt and pepper
· cornmeal
· bacon grease or vegetable oil

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!

Hmm. Yum? Maybe. I have to admit I am now intrigued. So, yes. I guess I would try a tomato that wasn’t red.

What about you? Would you try or have you ever tried a tomato that wasn’t red? Are you adventurous or picky when it comes to food?


Jordan Summers said…
Fried green tomatoes are good. They're a little greasy, depending on how much you pat them dry after cooking, but they're tasty.
Beth Ciotta said…
I'm thinkin I'm going to have to try these, Jordan. If I can ever find them. :) Down south would be the place I expect. Thanks for the tip on 'patting!'
sharon w. said…
Hi, beth. I like the new site, it's new, and fresh. Very well done!
As to different foods, I'm lucky my husband was in the Marine Corps, when we were first married,and met many great Asian, Hawaiian, Japanese, and Phillipino cooks, and had a chance to taste many, exotic dishes, but like you I have my own 'ick' factor I can't seem to cross.
As to different colored tomatoes, both the orange, and yellow are delicious, I'm still deciding on the black streaked one.
Keep up the great work.
Anna Lucia said…
We used to grow tomatoes in our garden when I was a kid - little cherry tomatoes called, "sweet 100" or "gardener's delight", larger ones called "alicante" and little yellow ones... I forget the name... golden something, I think.

They were sweeter than the red ones, without as much of the tang. I liked them, but I like the sweet 100 better, straight from the vine, warm from the sun. Little sun-gifted jewels, sweet-sharp and delicious.


I used to be a terribly fussy eater, didn't like many veg. Now I can't get enough, especially green veg like spinach, pak choi and green beans of all varieties.

You can almost FEEL them doing you good.

Tonight we're having chilli, made more healthy by using half the meat and double the pulses (I use black eyed beans as well as kidney beans) and by stirring shredded baby leaf spinach through the rice before serving. Mmmmmm.

Of course, it's made from scratch, with spices from my prized spice drawer I recently blogged about... :-)
Jen said…
Definitely give yellow tomatoes a try. They're delicious, but less acidic than most red tomatoes (and there's no ick factor, lol). The orange ones are good too, and even though they're "ugly", heirlooms are the best!!!

Speaking of foods and colors, I recently tried a white eggplant -- delish!

Then again, if there's something on a menu that I've never eaten before, I'll usually order it. (This is not always a successful experiment.)
flchen1 said…
Short answer--yes, I would try a non-red tomato. :)

As for food adventurousness, I think I'm sort of a mid-level adventurer. When you grow up Chinese, you end up having to try all kinds of stuff, whether you like it or not. I'm OK with most foods, but I'm not a big fan of live food (a la Fear Factor bugs or moving tentacles) or stuff like pig blood. I'm also not a big fan of foods that are weirdly and intentionally colored, like turquoise blue ketchup. And I still don't like cilantro, even though it's used in lots of dishes I otherwise enjoy.

If it's food or looks like food, I can probably give it a go. :) The non-red tomatoes I've tried have been tasty!

Happy experimenting, Beth!
Beth Ciotta said…
Hi, Sharon! Thank you for the compliments on my new look!

Sounds like you've been exposed to some wonderful culinary experiences. I have to say I have never had Hawaiian food. I mean, pinapple on pizza doesn't count, right? :) I I ever do get a shot at Hawaiian food I hope it's in HAWAII!

As to tomatoes... there are black streaked ones?? Who knew?
Beth Ciotta said…
Anna, your homaemade chili sounds DELICIOUS! COuld we talk you into sharing your recipe on your blog??

Off to read about your prized spices...
Beth Ciotta said…
Jen, you're not the first to recommend yellow tomatoes. I posted this same entry over at eHarlequin and several people celebrated the yellow variety.

As for the white eggplant... I would try it, but I must confess I don't much care for the regular kind. A shame because I'm sure it'sreally good for me.
Beth Ciotta said…
Fedora, I think I'm like you. Mid-level adventurer. :) I'll try new dishes--foods from different cultures. I've found that a lot of times the difference is often in the spices--like Indian vs Thai. But no way would I try that fear factor fare. No. Way.

Out of curiosity, where did you see turquoise ketchup?? I'd feel like I was pouring Tidy-bowl on my fries. :)
flchen1 said…
My sister (thanks a ton, sis! ;)) bought a bottle for us a couple years ago. Here's a link to an article about the product:

I don't know that this caught on--I definitely didn't buy it again!
Olga said…
I tried green and yellow tomatoes (pretty good!), and lobster, crabcakes, and smoked oysters are among my fave foods. I'm flexitarian, for most part, but I love trying new things, esp. ethnic food, unless it's too spicy. I love pirozhki (Russian), sushi (except octopus - tastes like rubber), enchiladas, etc, etc.
Beth Ciotta said…
I wish I knew how to insert a picture here, Fedora. That pic of the turquoise Heinz ketchup was priceless. Gross, but priceless. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Flexitarian. I like that, Olga. I, too, like trying ethnic foods. Just not anything raw. :)
SEO Services said…
I like to know about tomatoes..

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