CONFESSION: I would like to write a noir poem about tomatoes.
Today at the farmer's market in Studio City, I couldn't stop taking pictures. The scent of the fruit tickled my nostrils, and I kept going, click, click, click. The tomatoes even smiled, though some seemed to dislike being photographed by a stranger.
Lewis Grizzard said, "It is difficult to think of anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home grown tomato." A lovely statement, but it also sounds like a challenge. I do know that in dreams tomatoes are supposed to be an auspicious symbol.
But doing a web search on tomatoes, I found some sordid details from the biography of this fruit-mistaken-as vegetable that make it a worthy subject for noir:
- For instance, until the early 1800's, Americans wouldn't eat tomatoes because people thought tomatoes were related to the poisonous belladonna plant.
- Tomatoes are a great cure for acne & sunburn.
- Tomatoes don't just come in colors like orange, red, or yellow: they can also be black!
- In Spain, there's an annual festival called La Tomatino where people basically throw tomatoes at teach other.
- Finally, the scientific name for tomato, as discussed here, is "wolf peach."