You Say Tomato, I Say No
So you like that tomato on your hamburger, do you? Enjoy the coy peek of red behind the mesclun?
Don't expect it this spring, and if you're lucky enough to get one, don't expect it to be any good.
The winter has been fierce on the East Coast, dumping masses of snow on the Northeast and freezing parts of the South that don't normally get bad weather. Florida, which supplies most of the commercial crop used by chain grocery stores and fast food restaurants, lost 70% of its winter crop, and it's having an effect even here in Orange County. Why fast food chains in California source tomatoes from a continent away is a mystery, given the number of truckloads of tomatoes that come out of the Central Valley.
If you need your tomato fix, you could always buy local tomatoes at your farmers' market. They may be hothouse tomatoes and not up to August standard, but they do actually taste of tomato and not of cardboard. Some enterprising farmers have even started growing heirloom varieties year-round.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.