I never buy tomatoes in the winter.
They're out of season at Colorado's latitude, and so the imported tomates you buy that time of year are hard as golf balls. I'd just as soon skip the garnish of anemic tomato flesh, languidly hanging out on the side of my plate at a restaurant. If you chew them, you don't taste anything ~ because there's little nutritional value there.
Arthur Allen explores the topic in his newly published book, "Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato." That is, if you're buying it at a supermarket. If you're growing it (in season, of course), or you purchase it at a farmer's market or from a distributor who buys locally, a slice offers no comparison. The pulp is bright red, rather than the yellow-tinged flesh of it's cousin that traveled many miles to get here.
Years ago, most families had a vegetable garden, but convenience won out. After all, it takes a lot of time to grow food. But books like Allen's are drawing attention and increasing awareness that it's apparent we lost an awful lot in the process ~ and the time we devote to developing our own backyard and community gardens may be the important investment we can ultimately make!
Easy Tomato Dish
Ripe tomatoes, sliced
You can decide the quantity of ingredients ~ Just arrange sliced tomatoes on a plate, top with strips of cheese and snips of basil leaves, sprinkle salt and pepper, and drissel some olive oil over them. Don't waste the effort if the tomatoes aren't ripe ~ and locally grown!