You Say Tomato

One of the drawbacks of living in Alaska is that you can’t grow tomatoes. Where I grew up in Virginia nearly everyone had at least a couple tomato plants growing in their yard. The sight, taste, and smell of ripening tomatoes was as sure a sign as any that summer had come into its fullness. […]

A Peach by Any Other Name is…a Nectarine

When is a peach not a peach? When it is a nectarine. While the similarities between peaches and nectarines are obvious, few people realize that they actually belong to the same species. In fact, the flower and leaf of peach and nectarine trees are indistinguishable, and it is not uncommon for the branch of a […]

Choosing the Perfect Melon

When I was a kid, I memorized several poems by Ogden Nash. I enjoyed his offbeat sense of humor, and the fact that his poetry rhymed. One poem I remember goes like this: “One cantaloupe is ripe and lush. Another’s green, another’s mush. I’d buy a lot more cantaloupe, If I possessed a horoscope.” Cantaloupes […]

Cilantro: An Herb That’s Not for Everybody

Normally we think of taste as a purely subjective matter. Whether people like or dislike a particular food is considered a function of whether they have eaten it before, and whether they like the sweet or sour or bitter flavor that everyone agrees that the food possesses. There are exceptions. Take cilantro. Cilantro is a […]

Organic Strawberries: a Smart Choice

When I was in college, I spent a few weeks picking strawberries for a fellow named Mr. Henderson who had a produce stand near where I lived. My roommate and I would get up at 5:00 a.m. and drive out to his piece of land where we would spend several hours picking in order to […]