If the modern industrialized tomato were a celebrity, it would be Tom Cruise, the modern industrialized actor.
The similarities are striking:
The actor and the fruit both look superficially appealing. They both have thin skins, not to mention an artificially long shelf life. And neither is as flavorful, juicy or interesting as its perfect appearance might suggest. Bland and boring as cardboard would be more apt descriptors.
In contrast, the old-fashioned, home-grown heirloom tomato — the kind that you pick warm from the vine on this Fourth of July, slice thin and sprinkle with salt and pepper — might be deemed the Tom Hanks of the gardening world. Like Hanks, its features may be a little more irregular and misshapen, and it comes in a wider palette of red, green and yellow. But in the end, it offers a far more interesting and rewarding flavor.
The difference between them is significant. For example, try to imagine Tom Cruise playing Forrest Gump. The very thought will make