Sunday, March 11, 2012

Schizophrenic Tomatoes........!!!

Are tomatoes just tomatoes? Well, it's not that simple. Seems to me as if tomatoes have a multiple personality disorder. Are they a vegetable, or a fruit? Botanically, tomato is a fruit, but it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes...and there's another but.....but it is consumed and served most often in the world along with salad! It got so confusing at one point in American history, that a suit was filed in the US supreme court in 1893 to settle the issue of  "fruit vs vegetable" (Nix v. Hedden, 1893). The court ruled that "The Tomato" should be considered a vegetable for customs tariff purposes. That concludes today's history lesson!

As if there was not enough confusion about this fruit/vegetable controversy, I came to know of another use of this quaint eatable. Are you ready for this?  As a face and body paste! I kid you not. I was at an impeccably organized Holi (festival of colors) party last weekend. There was splash of brilliant and bright colors, good food and spectacular weather. And towards the end, there were certain brave people who ventured on to the "Tomato Pit" to get socked and soaked by fresh, ripe and organic tomatoes.  After a few minutes of complete mayhem, most people were walking around smelling like ketchup and "Bloody Marys". I stayed clean because I can run fast!

I researched a bit more and was pleasantly surprised to find out that my friends and I were not the only ones throwing ripe tomatoes at each other! Tomato festivals are a permanent feature of many communities and cities all around the world, especially in Europe. Spain probably has the biggest tomato festival of them all,  "La Tomatina", celebrated in Bunol every year.

I guess the tomato is a tomato, after all. Depending on how it is used on a particular day, gives it a purpose and meaning for that day. That extrapolates well to so many events in our lives. We could take any event in our lives, and interpret it with whatever attitude we want to. Every peak in our life needs sobriety and humility, every trough is an opportunity to prove our strength & ability. We cannot direct the wind, but we can for sure adjust the sails.  

Here's a picture from the festival "La Tomatina"