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Tomato porn worth peeking at

When the book arrived, I had no idea what to expect. If I had, I would have hustled it into my office, shut the door, and spent several moments alone with it. Maybe several hundred moments.

This is that kind of book.

Once I unboxed it, I realized what I was dealing with. I stole a glance at my office door to be sure no one was walking by.

I might have drooled a little.

My fingers ran over the glorious pictures of curves, the blushing skin. My pulse quickened. My bosom may—may—have heaved.

Just then, a coworker walked in, startling me.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “But I just received a book of tomato porn in the mail.”

Amy Goldman’s Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table is just that: tomato porn of the most genteel order. The varieties, picked from the more than 500 Goldman grew in her own garden (And, note to Amy, the very fact that you have been able to have the opportunity to grow 500 varieties of tomatoes in your garden makes me revere you and turn green as an unripe tomato with great and powerful envy.) are photographed by Victor Schrager, who created magical images of these lush, juicy varietals.

OK, now I am, actually, drooling a little.

The book features historical details about the varieties, and technical details including their size, weight, shape, plant habit and texture. Want to know how to use a particular variety and whether your kids will eat it? She’s got that information, too.

The book wraps up with a set of tomato recipes that made me consider taking the rest of August and all of September off just so I could make every one. That same coworker who interrupted my reverie flipped immediately to the Cherry Tomato Focaccia, which has an accompanying photo that caused her mouth to drop open. “That looks amazing,” she said.

Yes, yes, it does.

There are beverages (Thai Tomato Cocktail, for example) and soups (Smoked Tomato, Cream of Tomato, Cherry Tomato and Garlic Bread). There are main dishes (Grilled Beef with Stuffed Tomatoes, Fattoush) and relishes (Green Tomato Pickles, Green Tomato and Currant Chutney).

Goldman will be in the Bay Area later this week and over the weekend to talk about her book and all things tomato, so if you’re local you can catch her here and see the book. Here’s the schedule (although I recommend calling the venue just to be sure all is proceeding as planned):

Wednesday, September 10, 12-2 p.m.

Commonwealth Club, 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco
Call 415-597-6703 for more information

Thursday, September 11, 5:30-7 p.m.

San Joaquin County Historical Museum, 11793 N. Micke Grove, Loda, CA
Call 209-331-2055 for more information

Friday, September 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Book Passage signing, 1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco
Call 415-927-0960 x. 238 for more information

Saturday, September 13, 1-2:30 p.m.

COPIA (Talk and lunch), 500 First Street, Napa, CA
Call 707-265-5952 for more information

Sunday, September 14, 12:30-4 p.m.
Tomato Fest book signing, Quail Lodge Resort, Carmel, CA
Call 831-625-6041 for more information

4 Comments on “Tomato porn worth peeking at”

  1. #1 Karen
    on Sep 9th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Tomatoes are so much better than men because they are actually soft on the inside and in the end more versatile. Just a thought…

  2. #2 Karen P.
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Oh god, I love this book! It’s sitting on my bedside table so I can gaze longingly at the photos before I turn out the light! Have you seen her earlier book “The Compleat Squash”? It’s beautiful, too.

  3. #3 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 23rd, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Kären, tomatoes don’t talk back, either! ;-)

    Karen P., I haven’t seen it, but I saw that it’s out there, and yes — I’m going to have to check that one out, too.

  4. #4 My work is done here – The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Oct 6th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    [...] Finally, FINALLY, someone has found my blog by searching for “tomato porn.” [...]

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