It seems like only yesterday that I was standing in a u-pick tomato field in Homestead, FL (south of Miami) talking to a farmer about the drastic change in the quality of his tomatoes. It wasn’t yesterday. It was somewhere around 1973.
Essentially what he said was "We now need to grow to ship rather than for you to pick”.
That was the beginning of thick wall tomatoes that could just as well have a Goodyear Tire brand. Tomatoes as durable as hockey pucks became the order of the day. As a result, how many people under 40 know what a real tomato tastes like?
We can wait for the change promised in this article but a better solution for many of us is to grow our own "real tomatoes" in portable, productive sub-irrigated planters (SIPs).
It’s a really good idea no matter what happens with supermarket tomatoes. There's a lot of satisfaction in growing your own.
ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — There is nothing better than a ripe, red, homegrown tomato, and now researchers reporting online on May 24 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have figured out just what it is that makes some of them so awfully good (and your average supermarket tomato so bland).
"We now know exactly what we need to do to fix the broken tomato," said Harry Klee of the University of Florida.
Tomato flavor depends on sugars, acids, and a host of less well-defined aroma volatiles (so named for the ease with which they vaporize, sending scent molecules into the air). Klee's team set out to define the chemicals that are most important to our fondness for one particular tomato or another. Read more...