You can’t stand tomatoes, but everyone else loves them, so you just have to take other people’s word for it. That’s why you keep trying to eat them in the hopes that your mouth has shape-shifted into a more tomato-loving kind of mouth. Here are six creative ways to keep eating that disgusting but healthy food:
1. Pico de Gallo (AKA “Pico de No-No”)
You hate eating tomatoes when they’re sliced, crushed, or whole, so maybe you’ll like them when they’re diced. Mix them with ingredients you’d enjoy, like onions, cilantro, and jalapeño, but will be forced to throw out due to their proximity to the wet, salty, afterbirth-like mess of exploded tomatoes. Eat this until you stop wanting to eat this, which will be immediately.
2. Caprese Salad (AKA Ca-“Prayin’-I-Don’t-Gotta-Eat-No-More-Tomatoes-Se” Salad)
You can’t go a single day without seeing a sane-looking person voluntarily eating tomato-containing products, so you must be missing something. Try a few slices of heirloom beefsteak with the salty decadence of burrata mozzarella and fresh basil. If Tony Soprano liked it, then you probably will too, right? Wrong. Chew this mouth-nightmare miserably, shocked at how even a delicate cheese could not mitigate the taste of nature’s greatest mistake.
3. Bloody Mary (AKA “I’m Bloody Wary of Tomatoes”)
You like booze and you love breakfast, so why not see if brunch is the right place to try liking tomatoes? Order your food frenemy in juice form, plus vodka, spices, horseradish, and some vegetables. Take a good long sip of this soup-wannabe and let it soak into your tomato-hope. You will be repaid in a mouth full of compost. Gaze longingly at the mimosas around you, knowing that you could have been drinking those angelic, perfect beverages instead of spicy vegetable slop.
4. Sundried Tomatoes (AKA “I’d Rather Die” Tomatoes)
They’re usually expensive; therefore they have to taste good. Right? Isn’t that a law? Go down to your local Italian market and buy a…jar? Plastic container? Ziploc bag? Buy whatever container they come in, bring it to book club, and watch everyone lose their gourds. Women love sundried tomatoes, and doggone it, you’re a woman, aren’t you? Put one in your mouth, then instantly consider whether or not you’re close enough with these ladies to spit something out in front of them. Spoiler alert: You’re not! Why isn’t anybody else feeling this way?
5. Shish Kebabs (AKA “SHEESH, Bob, These Tomatoes Taste Like Tomatoes!”)
Your friend is having an all-vegetarian barbecue! The grill is loaded up with all sorts of veggie burgers, black bean burgers, soy hot dogs, and right there in the center: skewers of garden-fresh vegetables! Sure, they have tomatoes on them, but the tomatoes look good to your eyes, so it stands to reason that they must taste good to your mouth! Load your plate up with at least three hefty skewers and take a bite, letting the realization that you’re the same old soft, bland tomato-hater rinse over your tongue like pulpy alien blood.
6. Gazpacho (AKA “Gad-Damn This Cold-Ass Soup”)
Maybe trying something cultural and summery will be the key to your tomato-loving side. Gazpacho is a beloved soup from the Andalusia region in the south of Spain, always made with raw vegetables and served chilled. Slurp a spoonful of the stuff before immediately spit-taking all over your poor old abuela. This shit tastes like tomatoes! Blech! Yuck! ¡No gracias!
Remember: You don’t like tomatoes. Have fun out there!