The First Time I Tried Tomatoes

Here is the story of my first taste of tomato.

My fondness for vegetables has been a recent one. When I was growing up, I was not known for my food adventurousness. I pretty much ate raw carrots and cabbage as my vegetables of choice. Everything else was too gross. Potatoes were vegetables, right?

My Dad used to have a garden patch outside where he’d grow carrots, peas, fuzzy squash, tomatoes, and some other stuff I can’t really remember. But, you know – Veggies and stuff. This was before gardening was all the rage like it is now, but I still thought it was cool because, hello, we lived in the suburbs and MY Dad could grow his own food. Did my other friends’ Dads do that? No.

Still, that was Dad’s garden. Most of the veggies from there were consumed by Dad, and Dad alone because no one else in the family really liked vegetables. This was not through lack of trying/begging/yelling on my Dad’s part.

One day, my Dad and I were near his garden and he was eating some plum tomatoes in between doing yard work. I was being your typical underfoot kiddo, when he started pushing tomatoes. I think they were plums or something. They were bite sized little tomatoes.

I was unsure, but not my completely defiant I-HATE-VEGETABLES self. These were tomatoes. A VEGETABLE. That I was pretty sure I didn’t like.

But they were small and cute. And they smelled good. All fresh off of the vine and tomato-y.

And then my Dad used the magic words:

“They’re sweet. Really sweet. They taste like candy.”


I confidently grabbed one of these delicious candy treats guised as a tomato and popped it in my mouth.

Why hadn’t Dad mentioned he was growing candy before? Right in our garden? And all along I thought…
And then I tasted the tomato part. Which tasted exactly like a tomato and nothing at all like the Jolly Ranchers, SweeTarts, or Gummi Bears I was imagining.

“EW, GROSS!! THAT IS NOT CANDY!!” I shouted, spitting the tomato out.

“Well, it’s sweet. It’s like candy. But it’s not.” my dad replied. (Most likely with some sigh and tone of defeat in his voice, but hey, I was, like, 4 and only concerned about the icky taste in my mouth)

“It tastes like a vegetable! I’m never eating tomatoes again!!”

And that’s the first time I tried tomatoes.

  1. Kerosena said:

    I love the one of you spitting the tomato on the ground. Your dad looks perturbed, but not surprised.

    How do you feel about tomatoes now? They are one of my favorite things to eat and I have them in one form or another at least once a day.

  2. DelSo said:

    I didn't see that coming! I remember my first green bean from the garden – it changed everything for me. I wasn't really a fan of tomatoes either, at least not until I started eating tomatoes that didn't come in those white plastic rectangular “baskets” wrapped in that cellophane that crinkled when you touched it. Now – I love tomatoes when they're in season.

  3. Kerosena – I love tomatoes now. I can see where he was coming from, but man, kid-tastebuds are nothing to mess with. They want straight up sugar.

    lk – thanks!

    DelSo – Oh yummy!

  4. Oh my golly! that was the best story!
    awesome awesome illustrations 😀

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