You Say Tomato, I Say 'Love Apple' The French used to call them pommes d'amour: apples of love. And essayist Diane Roberts says there's nothing better — or more dangerous — than a red, ripe tomato.

You Say Tomato, I Say 'Love Apple'

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In these tough economic times, some people have planted fruit and vegetable gardens. Essayist Diane Roberts says that for the most sublime taste of the season, you can't beat homegrown tomatoes.

DIANE ROBERTS: When the Spanish brought tomatoes to Europe in the 16th century, people didn't know what to make of them. They might be poisonous. On the other hand, they might be some kind of aphrodisiac like the mandrake plant.

HANSEN: I never could stand to see tomatoes treated that way. Just thinking about it makes me hungry - and it's almost lunchtime. I step out to the vegetable patch. The Brandywines are red as raw steak. The Juliets are as ripe as their Shakespearean namesake. And the Arkansas Travelers are blushing pink. They're practically rolling off the vine.

C: good white bread, mayonnaise, sea salt, three or four slices of heirloom tomato - Cherokee Purple is my favorite. Combine. Eat. This is the voluptuous, dangerous, passionate taste of high summer.

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

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