Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Creole Goodbye

My friend The Hungry Termite put up a heart-wrenching post the other day lamenting the end of Creole tomato season in south Louisiana. Alas, these delicious red and yellow beauties have vanished from our groceries and vegetable stands and won't reappear until next May. I feel your pain, dear disconsolate Termite. We shall walk together into our vale of tears, softly humming that old spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Mater-less Child." 
   It's been a singularly bountiful and flavorful season for Creoles. I would buy them by the bagful at Dorignac's, picking out the gnarliest ones or the ones with scabs and scars. Beware any round and regular specimens posing as as our beloved Creoles. Chances are they're not Creoles at all, or some "Creole-hybrid" variety created by the wizards at LSU Ag school to accommodate easy picking and shipping. Why do some people feel the need to improve on perfection?
    With our innate chauvinism, we think our Creoles are the best tomatoes in the land. I'm not so sure. Right about now,  midsummer tomatoes will be hitting the stands in places like New Jersey and upstate New York. My mouth waters with the memory of these tomatoes of my youth; my belly churns with envy of those who live in more temperate climes. And just now, the words of Ernest Thayer, immortal bard of American summer pastimes, popped into my head: 
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; 
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, 
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; 
But there is no joy in N'awlins — the Creoles have run out.
Farewell my lovelies!


  1. ... sniff* sniff* i'm still crying, A. ;-(

    and you're completely right, the ones you see now are some sort of hybrid, plastic, zero taste something or another they must grow to amuse us.
    they don't even have that wonderful aroma.

  2. Weep no more, Termite, the tomato growers want to amuse you. Great comment!! A.