It's not quite hot summer days yet when tomatoes are in peak season. But I couldn't resist these gorgeous vine-ripened tomatoes. Especially because they were on sale. I bought 5 pounds of tomatoes and am thinking of heading back for more...
The tomato originated in the New World. The Spanish brought the tomato to Europe and to the Philippines, where it then spread throughout Southeast Asia. It's scientifically classified as a fruit, even though many of us treat it as a vegetable.
In Vietnam, the tomato is used as part of a sauce to braise fish and for Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup). But it's also treated as a fruit for tomato shakes. I have many a fond memory of grabbing a late afternoon snack with my cousin. The drinks were often sold on the street, where we'd sit on kiddie-sized plastic chairs and chat about our day. I'd alternate between ordering freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Milkshakes), and tomato shakes.
Now, if you don't love tomatoes, and don't enjoy eating them fresh off the vine, this probably wouldn't be for you. But if you're like me, there's no comparison to truly savor the refreshing taste of a fully ripe tomato.
Sinh To Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Shake)
The recipe is simple:
1/2 cup ice cubes
1-2 tomatoes depending on size
1 small spoonful of sugar
Blend until ice is crushed.
Pour into glass.
Add more sugar if necessary.
It's like biting into a crisp, cold tomato. Except instead of worrying about the juices running down your chin, you drink it all up.