The Green Zebra

Summer is a wonderful time of year for a whole variety of reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is definitely the edible things that grow outside, where they ought to. Being able to buy locale produce is a highlight, but even if you stray outside the 100 mile locale, everything just seems to taste better in the summer. One of my personal favorite things to eat, and something that is truly divine in the summer and truly awful in the winter is the tomato.

Personally, I like heirloom tomatoes, and I think that with a little searching, you can find out which specific variety of heirloom really strikes your fancy for any sort of eating – in a salad, as a snack, as a side dish, etc. My favorite “just to eat” tomato is actually not an heirloom, being a recent crossbreed, but it isn’t a GMO either. According to Wikipedia, the green zebra was bred by Tom Wagner of Everett, Washington, and was first introduced in his Tater-Mater Seed Catalog in 1983. Given its recent origins, it is not an heirloom tomato, despite often being mistakenly designated as one.

Oh well. Since it was bred for deliciousness, and not for some other terrible reason, I think it is okay. This green-and-yellow striped tomato is about the size of a plum and has a firm texture that makes it seem more like a fruit (which I guess it technically is; the whole “fruit” or “vegetable” debate is very confusing) than a vegetable. It is somehwat tart and not so watery as many tomatoes, making it an ideal snack food. I have been eating at least one a day for the past three weeks. If you see them in the market or your local farmstand, I hope you’ll give them a try. It beats the pants off those pale red things you thought were real tomatoes.

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