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David Lissner
for restaurants

Hooray! Tomato season is coming!

Tomato slices

“Why do we need tomatoes in January? Or really for that matter even in May,” writes Chef John des Rosiers of Inovasi in Lake Bluff, noting that he didn’t offer fresh tomatoes on his menu for eight months. “I mean come on, who needs a tasteless, off pink fleshed, hard as hell tomato?”

John des Rosiers

John des Rosiers

Bravo! I don’t buy fresh tomatoes in the wintertime, either, so I’m looking forward to the coming months of sun-ripened, locally grown fruit. What gets me, though, is how often, even in the peak of the growing season, restaurant tomatoes can be pallid and flavorless.

What’s the excuse for that?

You can hear more about tomatoes in a ChicagoScope podcast where Leigh Hanlon ponders, “Do Humans Pass Viable Tomato Seeds?” and we talk about the pizza at The Baked Tomato in Irving Park.

Growing your own? Check out my old, but still pertinent column of tips, or local gardening expert Beth Botts’ recent advice.