An Open Letter to Whoever Decided to Put Tomatoes on Everything

Photo credit: Mike Mozart (Flickr)

Dear whoever decided to put tomatoes on everything,

Let me start this letter by saying that I mean no disrespect. I'm sure you have a name and it's a lovely wonderful name. However, I don't know who you are so I felt it best to address this letter in a "to whom it may concern" type of way. It's more formal that way. And you know I mean legit business.

Now, let's get down to that legit business. I do not like tomatoes. I mean, I like them cooked and in things. Like sauce, salsa, and ketchup. But I hate them raw. They are terrible little things.

And while that doesn't seem like it would be a problem, it is.

You know why?

Tomatoes are everywhere. On everything. In everything. It's so bad that even if it's not listed in the ingredients in something I order in a restaurant, I have to still ask. Because I don't know how many times I've thought I was good to go because tomatoes weren't listed only to find them there once the plate's been set in front of me. Seriously, when did it become just so normal? Like salt and pepper or something.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Calm down, Jess. You can just order the dish without. Well, you would think that, wouldn't you? After all, you like tomatoes. But you see, for a person who doesn’t like tomatoes it isn't that easy. I ask. All the time. I ask very nicely. I stress that I do not want the damn tomatoes on my dish. But somehow they still appear. And sometimes I don't see the tomatoes, but as I'm eating I find a few little stray ones. It's almost like the chef forgot and put them on and then took them off. But I'm not here to point any fingers.

So now you're thinking, so what? Can't you just pick them off? I mean, that's what everyone does when they don't like something. Oh yeah, like it's that simple. For the record, I do pick them off my sammy and my burger. I move on like it's NBD. However, have you ever tried to pick chopped tomato out of a wrap or a chopped salad? It's like finding a needle in a haystack. There's always a few left behind. And tomatoes are juicy and filled with seeds. So even if I get the actual tomato off, the gross and slimy innards are still left behind.

But, wait! They're small and you won't notice them! Oh, I'm sorry. Do you enjoy eating things that you don't like? That pickle is awfully small in the grand scheme of that burger so why don't you just take one big bite, huh?  Pickle and all. It doesn't sound like so much fun now that the tables have turned. Does it?

Ok. Ok. You get it and now you're thinking, why don't I just convey to the waiter that I really (REALLY) don't like tomatoes. Oh. I have. And they think just like you do -- but it's a tomato lady! What's the big deal?

Maybe I could tell the waiter that I'm allergic. Yeah, that's genius. But a little awkward when I reach for the ketchup, no?

Now, maybe you do love pickles (I do too). But I'm going to assume that you don't like something, right? So just picture that something that you don't like being on everything you order. And then always finding it somewhere. Even when you try to get it without. It's exhausting. All I want to do is eat my food and be happy. Is that too much to ask?

And don't even get me started on people who put tomatoes on premade sandwiches and then wrap them up to sit all day. There's a special spot in you know where for that person so I'm hoping that's not you.

So, to sum everything up, please stop putting tomatoes on everything. They're seriously not that great. K? Thanks.


Jess Downey