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Thrill to the taste of sun-ripened tomatoes

JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThere's nothing else like the taste and scent of a ripe tomato.
JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThere's nothing else like the taste and scent of a ripe tomato.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting P&J Farm, just outside of Saucier. It is one of the very few USDA certified organic farms in Mississippi, and so I have been thinking about farm-fresh vegetables ever since. This week we are going to be talking about simple things you can do with those organic vegetables you score at the market.

How can you visit a farmers market in the early summer and not be tempted by the fresh, sun-ripened red tomatoes? There is just one simple way to tell if a tomato is as delicious as it looks, and that is to smell it. Now don't smell the vine -- all tomato vines smell tomato-ish -- but smell the fruit itself. That is what that tomato is going to taste like. Big smell? Big taste. Now you know.

So you finally score the beautiful tomatoes you have been dreaming of all winter long. Now what are you going to do with them? Make tomato sauce? Nope, save that for later in the summer when the prices drop. If you have even just a smear of Mississippi mud between your toes, then there is no question what you should do: make a tomato and mayo sandwich with that still-warm-from-the-sun tomato. A little salt, a little pepper, and you will actually be forgiven for using plain white bread. Go for it!

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