August 9, 1953

ONCE UPON A TIME… THE TOMATO: From a commentary by Eleni Vlachou titled «Desperation» – «(…) Once upon a time in summer we had (…) tomatoes. The juicy, tasty, fresh tomatoes of Attica. The queen of the summer. No matter what your preference, whether raw with a little salt for coolness, melting in your mouth, fruit and vegetable at the same time, combining sweetness and flavor as if made of spring sunshine and the aromas of the countryside. (…) One bought Attic tomatoes and every day made a dish for the gods. A little oil and vinegar, a little salt and pepper and then all the different combinations, with finely sliced cucumber, feta cheese, hard-boiled egg, a little oregano. Green peppers, aubergines and even wild greens and radishes. If you had tomatoes, you had the foundation. A sauce made of these tomatoes cloaked the poorest spaghetti in a royal mantle and rescued every dish from banality. Stuffed tomatoes, tomatoes with meat, baby tomatoes filled with mayonnaise. I cry for those tomatoes, which in this age of civilization, progress, electric ovens and refrigerators have been transformed into a watery imitation of their former selves, as if poured out of an American can. I wonder, is there no vegetable garden in Attica that has survived the march of «progress,» namely the onslaught of fertilizers?